Saying that women and financial strategies are like oil and water is not sexist. It just may be true given the latest statistics: a survey by the Employee Benefits Institute reveals that 60% of women haven’t made the attempt to calculate how much they will need to save to be able to live a comfortable post-retirement life, while 70% admit they’re behind schedule in saving for retirement.
There are two key reasons why women need to be more diligent in planning their financial future in comparison to their male counterparts.
- Women live longer than men. Upon retiring at 65, you can live another 19 years and outlive your spouse.
- Women generally have far more career breaks than men, to care for children or elderly parents. The time spent in the workforce, and consequently, the money earned, is less.
Here are some simple steps you can take starting today to become financially secure.
Keep a Rainy Day Stash
While the importance of rainy day savings is reiterated by financial experts, few actually have a cushion to get by during the tough times. If you’re single, or your partner does not draw a steady income, you should have six months’ worth of living expenses to fall back on. And this includes food, gas, and bill payments only. If both you and your spouse/partner have steady jobs, it is best to accumulate anywhere between three and six months’ worth of living expenses. Saving money on a day-to-day basis is an especially wise decision if you work in an industry that’s most likely to be hit hard by an economic downturn. Rainy day funds should be accessible on demand. So liquid cash, in high-interest savings accounts, are the way to go. Save more often, and as much as you can.