NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, What retirement planning resources can you recommend to women? I’m 58 years old, divorced and living on a tight budget and need all the help I can get.
When it comes to planning for retirement, most Americans could stand to brush up on their financial knowledge a bit, but it’s especially important for unmarried women. Here’s what you should know.
It’s an unfortunate reality that most unmarried women — whether they’re divorced, widowed or never married — face much greater financial challenges than men in retirement.
Why? Because women tend to make less money (about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes) and have shorter working careers (due to raising children and/or caring for aging parents) than men. And less money earned usually translates into less money saved and a lower Social Security benefit when you retire.
In addition, women also live an average of five years longer than men, which requires their retirement income to stretch farther. And, according to studies, women tend to be less knowledgeable and more intimidated about financial issues than men, which means they don’t always handle their money as well as they should.
Because of these issues, it’s very important that women educate themselves on financial matters. Listed below are some good resources that can help.
· Financial education: A good place to start is with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, a nonprofit organization dedicated to financial education for women. At wiserwomen.org, you can read and download for free a wide variety of easy-to-understand publications on retirement planning, money management, saving and investing, as well as Social Security, health care, annuities and more.
If you don’t have a computer or Internet access, you can call 202-393-5452 and order hard copies of their publications and have them mailed to you for a few dollars.