Your Money Matters: Retirement planning tips for women

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Nancy Coutu

Money Managers Financial Group
1211 W. 22nd Street
Oak Brook

Nancy's Tips:

Save, Save, Save
Women must save more than men do because they generally live longer.  Wives live 8 to 10 years longer than their husbands if they are married when they're the same age. More than 75 percent of women will eventually be widows. I recommend dedicating 10 - 15% of your salary to your 401(k). If you can’t put that much away right now, at least save enough to take advantage of your employer match and build from there.

Always Negotiate Salary
The majority of women (59%) feel like they are underpaid. Statistics show they are right - women are making 79 cents to a man’s dollar in this country. Here’s the irony: Only 43 percent of women asked for a raise. However, 3 out of 4 who asked for a raise got it.

Learn to Say No
A bleeding heart can be murder on a budget. A woman will often fund her children's education before her own retirement or loan money to relatives that may never be repaid. Women need to pay themselves first – if you have ever flown, you have heard the flight attendant remind you to put the life vest and oxygen mask on yourselves first, even before you help family members.

Take Inventory
It’s important to know what you have and where it’s at. Write down all your account/joint account information: investments, bank accounts and savings accounts. Take inventory of all sources of current income and talk to your spouse. Do this while your spouse is still around. I work with too many widows who don’t have information about their money/investments after their spouse passes - or after a divorce.

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