By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Financial Services | Issue: February 2009
Linda Fullerton joined Edward Jones in 2003 after a long career as a project manager for a major airline. She opened her Owasso office in March, 2004. She works directly with clients to understand their personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term strategies for their investments that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Linda enjoys traveling and being involved in her community. Memberships include Owasso Chamber of Commerce and Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.
All of us would like to think that we will enjoy a comfortable retirement. If you’re a woman, however, you might be significantly more nervous than your male peers about life as a retiree. This fear may not be entirely justified, but, in any case, you can greatly improve your outlook for retirement by understanding where you are now – and how to get where you want to go.
But first, you may have to overcome both fear and a financial “gender gap.” Consider these findings from recent surveys conducted by Harris Interactive:
• 46% of the women surveyed said they worry about losing all their money and becoming destitute. Surprisingly, this figure rises to 48% among women with incomes of $100,000 or more.
• Women were almost twice as likely as men to worry about money and to doubt their capacity to invest and plan for the future.
• Only 10% of women said they feel quite secure about their finances.
These figures, while disturbing, at least partially reflect some basic realities of women’s lives. First, women typically outlive men by nearly seven years, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics – and more years of life mean more expenses. Also, women drop out of the work force for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents, according to the Older Women’s League, a research and advocacy group. This time away from the workforce results in women accumulating much less money in their employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Of course, if you are married, many of your financial assets are likely commingled with those of your husband. But that doesn’t mean that you can abdicate responsibility for your financial future. Some 80% to 90% of today’s women will be solely responsible for their own finances at some point in their lives, according to the National Center for Women & Retirement.
So, what can you do to boost your confidence in your financial management skills? For starters, take a close look at all potential sources of retirement income: Social Security, savings, investments and retirement plan distributions. Estimate about how much you might have available for your retirement years.
Next, try to envision your “ideal” retirement lifestyle and put a “price tag” on it. For example, if you would like to continually travel the world when you retire, you’re probably going to need more money from your retirement funds than someone who wants to stay home, pursue hobbies and possibly even open a small business.
It’s not always easy to plan, save and invest for retirement. That’s why you may want to consider working with an experienced financial professional – someone who knows your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals, and who can recommend the appropriate investments and strategies.
Whether you work with a financial professional or not, though, learn as much as you can about every aspect of your financial situation. You’ll boost your confidence about having sufficient resources for retirement – and you’ll probably enjoy it more when you get there.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.