Many women over 50 feel insecure about their retirement picture. Is there
enough money to live comfortably? Is it time for retirement -- or just a change
A woman may indeed have a riskier financial picture as she ages. "Women
typically have worked fewer years than men, and for lower wages," says Jean
Setzfand, director of financial security at the AARP. "Yet they tend to
outlive their spouses -- and will likely have greater health care costs as they
age. That means their income will drop at an even greater rate as they get
By Ann Hodgman
One woman's diary
I said to my daughter, "You know what I just can't stand about this
book? The long passages with no dialogue." -
She paused, then said, "Mom, are there any books you like
Now it was my turn to pause. How could she ask that, when everyone knows how
much I love to read? But then again, when had I last complimented a book — even
one I admired? Come to think of it, how often did I say anything without a
negative twist? I don't want my tombstone...
And some women over 50 may find themselves dissatisfied with jobs or careers
they've devoted decades to developing, says Cynthia Barnett, EdD, a retirement
lifestyle specialist based in Norwalk, CT. "At mid-life, you begin thinking
'what's my purpose in life.' This starts a whole cycle of self-reflection, a
search for work you love to do," she tells WebMD.
Women Over 50: Boosting Your Financial and Professional Power
Are you ready to give your career and finances a boost? This to-do list will
get you started:
___Learn about finances. Educate yourself about retirement planning,
your options, and your financial picture. Stay up-to-date on Social Security
and Medicare. The more financially literate you become, the better decisions
you'll make. And for women over 50, there's still time to catch up on
retirement savings. Not sure where to start? Talk to a financial planner (to
get unbiased advice, pay a flat fee for a visit), take a financial planning
night course, or ask friends how they're handling the road to retirement.
___Complete a self-assessment on a retirement calculator. All the big
investment management firms have financial planning calculators on their web
sites, as does the AARP. Women over 50 should factor in all their sources of
retirement income, including social security, employer-based retirement income
(pension and 401k), and personal savings (IRA accounts).
___Start saving now. The percentage of income you should sock away
depends on your circumstances, but aim for 10% if you can, and more is better,
say the experts at CNNMoney.com. If you do it via payroll deduction, which is
done before taxes, you won't even miss it.