Take Steps Now to Maintain Your Independence Later
October 1, 2009
Most women can not bear to think of the day when their spouse passes away leaving them a widow, but statistically, a woman is most likely going to outlive her husband. The average age of a widow is 56 years old. Other women never married, or divorced, and are facing retirement as a single individual. In fact, if you are a woman age 65 or older, you are more than twice as likely as a man of the same age to be unmarried.
Regardless of the varying circumstances that may have caused them to be unmarried, most of these women have something in common – a need to develop their own financial savvy in order to maintain their independence. A widow or divorced woman who has not exposed herself to financial issues and who must suddenly assume responsibility for her household’s finances will be understandably overwhelmed. On the other hand, a woman who is familiar with her finances will find it much easier to assume additional financial responsibilities if need be. Women should know the location of pertinent financial paperwork, including insurance policies, real estate deeds, mortgages, stock certificates, bonds, and brokerage account and annuity statements. Women should also take the steps necessary to understand the documents.
Women earn only a fraction of every dollar a man earns even when doing the same work, which results in lower total compensation over a woman’s lifetime and detrimentally affects the amount of Social Security and pension benefits she will receive upon retirement. Retirement benefits are often further reduced...
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Gina M. Barry
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