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Money management for women can be an enormous problem. The problem is magnified for retired women. Here are some free tips and advice plus a checklist of things to know and do.

Unique challenges can be encountered for women who have left financial decisions up to someone else. Eventually, they are likely to be faced with making those decisions themselves. Why? Women, on average, live 5 years longer than men and divorces near retirement age are becoming more common.

Women Have Longer Retirements and Fewer Dollars!

Women often have fewer years of earning an income due to childrearing and eldercare. But, they have longer retirements. Women earn 77 cents for each dollar earned by men. They, also, tend to accumulate nearly 40 percent less retirement money.

Money management, which is traditionally a man's responsibility, can instantly become a women's job. Waiting until the moment a women becomes a widow to familiarize herself with basic finances is unnecessary and foolhardy.

Retired women may be dealing with a divorce, learning to manage finances, and looking for love at the same time. The checklist below will provide some needed guidance.

Why Don't People Plan for the Future?

Not planning for the future is common. That truly baffles me, because that is where everyone is going to spend the rest of their lives.

There are people who spend more time planning a vacation than planning a 20 to 30 year retirement. Planning, setting goals, and monitoring retirement savings will be extremely advantageous and lessen the risks.

We all need to have a healthy relationship with our retirement finances. Women are so very competent in so many areas of their lives. There is no reason, that they should not have some basic understanding of their personal finances.

There are retirement calculators that will help anyone determine how much money they will need to maintain their life style when they retire. Equally important is the post-retirement calculator that will help to predict how long that nest egg will last.

Pre-retirement Checklist

Stuff You Really Need To Know!

  • What are your current bills? Are they all paid on time?
  • What are your joint assets, joint accounts, and joint debts?
  • Where are those important financial records (tax returns, insurance policies, safe deposit box & key)?
  • What are the IDs and passwords for online or phone access accounts?

Things To Do!

  • Create an emergency fund (3 to 6 months of expenses).
  • Remain employable or possibly delay retirement.
  • Establish a personal credit history.
  • Take a class or two on managing finances. Read free information.
  • Consider delaying your Social Security benefits. (Age 62 - 75%) (Age 66 - 100%) (Age 70 - 132%)
  • Consider an annuity that provides an income that you cannot outlive. (Salesperson will receive a commission.)
  • Consider community living. You will have your own apartment, but eat and socialize with others.
  • Evaluate your need for long term care insurance. (Be careful: salesperson receives a commission)
  • Take care of your health. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. (You are more likely to survive a disease or medical condition if you are in good health.)
  • Create a "Family Love Letter". (Contains vital information, contacts, and wishes.)

Retirement Statistics for Women!

  • Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women.
  • 85 percent of 85 year old women are widows. (It is 45% for 85 year old men.)
  • Approximately 30 percent of women believe that Social Security will be their primary retirement income.

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GREAT IDEAS FOR RETIREES