I came across some very disturbing statistics last night about women and money. For instance, according to the msmoney.com website,
- Women live longer than men (an average of 7 years) so they need 20% more for retirement.
- On average, women earn 25% less than men.
- Since women tend to take time off to raise children or take care of parents (women take off approximately 11 years more from work than men), they save less than men do for retirement.
- After earning lower salaries for fewer years, women's social security benefits are about half of men's.
- The majority of women had certificates of deposit (CDs) in their retirement savings accounts when a more aggressive investment vehicle was more appropriate.
I looked on the Internet, and found similar statistics on several other websites as well! And what’s worse, most women are not prepared for these differences. The consequences are not pretty :( According to the same website,
- Almost 1 in 4 women are broke within two months of a husband passing away.
- Over 75% of all women are eventually widowed at an average age of 56.
- 53% of women are not covered by a pension compared to only 22% of men.
- A staggering 87% of the poverty stricken elderly are women.
I do not intend to end up as a part of those statistics! So, I have decided to start reading more on this topic, and as I read, I will make some notes and of course publish it here. These "notes" will contain information from the listed resource interspersed with my commentary or review. I hope the women readers will find this series useful. And if the men readers find this information useful, I hope you will help pass it along to your wife/girlfriend/sister/mother etc. The archives will be available in the category marked as "Women’s Corner" in the side-bar.
Okay, here we go.
Today’s Resource: Financial Security Web Seminar at the msmoney.com website.
This is a very basic and introductory, but very well organized six step seminar. Each step is a detailed walkthrough of a fundamental personal finance concept. I would highly recommend this as a good starting point for someone who is not very savvy about personal finance yet, but keen to start in this direction. Here is a brief overview.
Step One: This one starts out with a financial health test. (I scored 86% on the test. Not too bad, huh? :) The test is followed by tips for getting organized and basics of budgeting and spending, with an easy to use cash flow worksheet. The discussion then goes on to the basics of net-worth calculation with another worksheet to determine your own net-worth.
Step Two: This step is dedicated to setting goals. It is a step by step walk through of how to determine the goals and how to prioritize them. A short intro for how to achieve the goals and different investment choices are provided, along with a "setting goals" worksheet.
The next three steps look at the details of how to achieve the goals.
Step Three: This step is all about the power of compounding and showing how even small savings can add up.
Step Four: This step provides an introduction of the different asset classes such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, so the saved money can be invested to earn better gains.
Step Five: This step walks through determining the risk profile and deciding an asset class to put the savings in.
Step Six: Finally the last step is for developing a plan and for nudging the readers into action.
Overall, it’s a fairly simple, yet comprehensive seminar. For someone very new to handling personal finance, this could be a great place to start. It touches on a lot of the basic concepts ranging from budgeting to dollar cost averaging. And with all the worksheets, it spurs the reader into action.
Well, that’s today’s resource. I will continue to look for more personal finance resources for women and write about them from time to time. If you have any great financial resources that target women, please do share it with me and the rest of the reader. TIA.