Three Reasons Why Boomer Women Have to Work in Retirement (Hint: The Economy Isn't One of Them!)
Despite the fact that many baby boomer women have a successful career or business, the majority of them are not adequately planning for their future. Why? Because many cling to outdated beliefs about women and money. Here are 3 outdated beliefs that boomer women need to discard to take control of their financial future.
Copyright (c) 2009 Lin Schreiber
You're smart, resourceful, talented and hardworking. You earn your own money, have a successful career, you may have even started your own business.
Then why is it that according to a study conducted by Prudential in 2006:
--Only 1% of women gave themselves an "A" when asked to grade their overall knowledge of financial products and services, and most women gave themselves a "C".
--Two thirds of women have not spoken to their husbands about such things as life insurance or preparing a will.
--Nearly 80% of women plan to depend upon Social Security to fund their retirement.
--Women are twice as likely as men to retire in poverty.
You've shown the world that you're capable of earning good money. But, if you have little or nothing to show for your years of hard work, and if you have to
(as opposed to want to) work through your retirement years, because you didn't plan for the future, you are not alone.
It's not that you don't have the ability to manage your money well. It's that emotionally you're still clinging to some really outdated beliefs that no longer serve you. Before you can discard them, you have to identify them.
Have you been:
1. Waiting for Prince Charming? My friend Sally spent her first 19 years out of college waiting for a Prince to drive up to her 32nd floor Manhattan apartment (in his white Mercedes convertible) and whisk her away to her dream married life. It was a nice apartment, except for the fact that it housed a very limited amount of her mismatched college furniture, and nothing else. There was not one picture on any wall. This was not New York minimalist chic; it was minimal, life-on-hold, waiting to be rescued living.
By age 40, Sally was making a lot of money as an attorney, and instead of starting to build toward her future, she spent every cent she made on things that would fill up the void in her life. She moved to a larger, more fabulous apartment, spent a fortune decorating it, filled her closets with expensive clothes, traveled to exotic places, and never once thought about the future.
Somewhere inside, Sally was still holding on to the hope that someone or something would come along and take care of her. Now 60 and still single, she's waking up to the fact that she's the one she's been waiting for all these years. It's up to her now, and she's taken on the challenge of creating a financial future for herself. And no, it's not too late.
2. Living in Fantasy Land? My client Jeanette laughs when she tells the story of running into an acquaintance, Nancy, in town one day. Nancy and her hugely successful architect husband had just built an enormous home on the ocean. Nancy revealed to Jeanette that she was getting into real estate because it was important that women created their own money and built their own wealth. When she asked Jean if she had her own income source, Jean smiled politely and said no.
Jeans says that inside she was smirking and saying to herself, "What in the world do I need to have my own money for? I'm happily married to a successful doctor, living in a big, gorgeous house, with three great children, and donating my time to many worthy charitable causes. I'm living a fantasy life."
Only that fantasy life ended two years later when her husband came home and announced he no longer wanted to be married. Jean was in her 50's and literally started from scratch in learning how to take care of herself financially. Today in her 70's, she runs a successful business and has carved out her ideal life. This time, it's based on the reality that as a woman, married or not, it's imperative that she take control of her own finances.
3. Being a Good Girl? Let me ask you this. Are you still, after all these years, turning yourself inside out to be the good girl? Were you well-trained in the art of working hard, being nice, taking care of others?
As a result, I'll bet that more than once you didn't ask for that raise, negotiate a higher salary, or trust your instincts around a financial advisor's "expert" advice. You hoped that if you just worked harder, were nicer, and didn't rock the boat, "they'd" reward you. You didn't stand up for yourself, and now you're way behind in creating financial freedom.
"Good Girl" Paula had a successful career in retail, and yet always made 20 - 40% less than her male counterparts because she was waiting to be acknowledged financially for how good she was as a person. At 55, she realized that while it was too late to bump her salary up to what she was actually worth working for someone else, she could start her own consulting business and finally be rewarded monetarily for how good she was at her job.
It took ten years, but by managing her money well, Paula created a large nest egg that allows her to enjoy life. And, while she's still working, she no longer has to.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Certified Retirement Coach Lin Schreiber, author of the popular ABC's of Revolutionizing Retirement, helps self-reliant women reinvent themselves in the next stage of life, formerly known as "retirement." To claim your free Revolutionize Retirement Starter Kit, visit her site at RevolutionizeRetirement.com