Retirement: No, A Man Is Not A Plan

This is an awesome article. I hate to admit it but I used to think this way, when I was younger. I was brought up in that generation. but have learned much differently now. Please read this article by,  Sharon ODay.

No, a man cannot be your retirement plan. The truth is, regardless of how great your relationship is with the man in your life, three undeniable realities make it critical that you be able to stand on your own two feet:

First, the high unemployment and under-employment rate in the United States has hit men somewhat worse than it has hit women, Woman Saving Moneyprimarily because the hardest hit sectors in the recent crisis (manufacturing and construction) are predominantly male. Second, roughly half of marriages in the United States result in divorce. Frankly, anything above 0% is too high, because the devastation of divorce is bad enough, even without financial distress. And third, the odds of you outliving your husband are pretty high.

Whatever her age, every woman needs to take financial responsibility for herself, regardless of what she was taught, what her marital status is, or what she’s done with her finances to date. That doesn’t mean she can’t combine some elements of her finances with her significant other; instead, she should have a complete understanding of every aspect of their finances, and a sufficient portion of those finances should be solely under her control.

The Girl Scout Solution

The solution to the three concerns raised above is simple: to use the old Scout motto, we absolutely have to “Be prepared.” To mirror our mothers, it’s truly “better to be safe than sorry.” My advice to you, single or married, is to always take care of your own finances as though you had to. Combine them with your significant other where needed, but guarantee your part.

This holds true whatever your actual financial situation is and regardless of what Prince Charming myths you’re still carrying in your head, whether you’re single, divorced or widowed. If you do take financial responsibility for yourself, and Prince Charming still shows up to “save you,” fine. At least if that happens, your dialog will be a very different one – you won’t be needy. And if he doesn’t show up, you won’t have to add elderly poverty to a disappointed heart.

The second piece of advice is to start saving as early as you can, and save as much as you can. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be because you’ll reap the benefit of compound interest (earning interest on the interest). And it’s never too late to start saving. You’ll be thrilled to have whatever you do save and invest on hand to supplement the Social Security you’ll collect. Every little bit takes you that much further away from a survival existence.

Retirement 9-1-1

If you are only waking up to this reality today, here are the steps I recommend:

First, understand what your exact financial situation is today. Figure out precisely how much you need each month to meet all your bills. Then figure out how much is coming in each month, net of taxes. If there is a shortfall, get inflow and outflow into balance by either (1) trimming your expenses, starting with the “bleeders,” which are the little expenses you don’t even feel or see, or by (2) finding a way to increase your income. Or both. Once you are in balance, push yourself a little harder to free up at least a small amount to put towards savings.

Stash those savings in a risk-free, interest-bearing account where you cannot access them easily. Although interest rates are artificially low these days, and the threat of inflation is high, anything you accumulate is more than you’d have if you spent that money on chai or dinners with friends. Caution: this is not money you’ll invest in anything that carries a risk; that will come later.

To read the rest of this article, click on the link:  http://www.showcasingwomen.com/retirement-no-a-man-is-not-a-plan/

Feel free to leave a comment or share with your friends.

 “This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

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