Did you know that more than a third of American women are now considered the family breadwinner? And yet, 48% of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.
That is a scary thought, especially because while women may be earning more money, studies have shown that they generally don’t know how to properly manage their money.
According to a recent Time article on women and money, “Women tend to be insecure about the subject of money; we focus on scrimping instead of investing; we rely too heavily on others for financial know-how; and we’re not always adept at translating abstract figures into concrete goals.”
I am such a stickler about finances that I just assume others like to be on top of their finances too. While I may sometimes feel like I’m behind the curve on some things, like retirement and investing, I do my best to educate myself and be on financial stable ground.
In fact, should anything happen to me, I’m sure Eric would be the one who would need help with finances, since I manage all our accounts. So it astounds me to think that my female counterparts aren’t taking care of their finances.
They may think they are managing their finances just fine by clipping coupons and reducing how much they spend (according to a recent Citi Economic Pulse survey, 76 percent of women regularly clip coupons). But taking care of your financial future is so much more than simply watching your budget.
It’s preparing for your retirement and signing up for your 401K and contributing to receive the full company match. It’s opening and contributing toward a Roth IRA. It’s learning how to invest in the stock market, looking at real estate opportunities, and figuring out how much money you’ll truly need to live comfortably in retirement. It’s using money tools and resources, like Genworth Financial, to learn about finances.
For myself, I am contributing 10% annually toward my 401K. I also have a pension deal of 2.5% of my income for every year I work until I retire. We’ve each opened a Roth IRA but we haven’t gotten into consistent contributions yet.
Too often we wait for our financial situation to improve before we make retirement a priority. But the reality is that we need to make retirement a priority no matter what our financial situation is. I may not be doing as much as I would like to be doing right now, but I am doing the best I can with the funds that we have.
Hopefully when Eric is hired as a firefighter, we will be able to contribute more toward retirement. But I never once said “Well, we’re living in a shack, let me stop my contributions now until we make more money.”
Making retirement a priority is the only way to ensure that you’ll be set for when retirement comes up.