For many older women already or soon-to-be retired, money is an ongoing concern. Are the golden years you’ve long anticipated becoming tarnished with financial worries?
In today’s video discussion, investing expert and PBS Money Track host Pam Krueger shares three practical tips on how to tackle our fears head-on. If you’re ready to control your money worries instead of letting them control you, read on!
Have you pictured your retirement as a long stretch of carefree years when you’re blooming with health and free to travel the world or pursue all your favorite pastimes?
For too many women over 60, Pam observes, this idealized dream has led to a rude awakening. Yes, medical advances have made it possible for us to live long, active lives. But will our savings and retirement income last as long as we do?
And what about having money to leave to your kids or grandkids? If these questions are plaguing you, you’re not alone.
They plague women retiring with millions in retirement savings as much as those with nothing! And the possibility of living into our 90s has many of us bordering on panic.
How many working women are psychologically ready to retire without a regular salary? Yet they’re nearing the age, Pam cautions, when many stressful changes are to be expected.
Spouses divorce or die. Children and friends move away. Simply leaving the workplace shrinks their social circle.
It’s a time of life when feeling insecure about the future is only natural. But for many women over 60, financial insecurities overshadow all others. What’s the answer?
Our biggest problem, Pam says, is that we’ve bought into the myth of worry-free retirement. Once the worries start, they build until we can’t think of anything but our bank accounts.
Removing emotions from the equation and treating your finances like the “… money, math and numbers… ” they are the only way to get a realistic handle on how much money we’ll need.
Getting a grip on your finances means separating your life into what you can or cannot control. You can live a healthy lifestyle, for example, but you can’t completely control your own or your family’s health.
Unexpected diagnoses happen. And one serious illness or accident makes an enormous difference in the amount of money you will need.
You can’t control the economy, the stock market or how political leaders’ decisions affect them. You also can’t control the scary media coverage of those things.
If you’re a mother, just remember that you’ve already had plenty of experience in letting go. You know worrying about things you can’t control in your children’s lives is useless – because there’s simply nothing you can do.
So chuck the financial fears over what’s not in your control and concentrate on the three things that are!
The first step, Pam advises, is to take an honest look at how much money you’re saving. This applies even if you’re retired and living on a fixed income.
Next is to assess your daily, weekly and monthly spending habits. Do it without judging them or yourself. This is nothing more than an exercise in numbers.
Then think about the best timing for the major financial events you’ll eventually face. When are you planning on leaving the workplace and the income it provides?
If you’ve already left the workplace, are you thinking of joining other retirees who supplement their income by turning hobbies into part-time jobs? If so, when would you do it?
Do you plan to downsize from your current home into a condo? Timing that transition will have a major effect on your finances.
In other words, saving, spending and the timing of big decisions are all things you can control. Just be willing to face the facts – something you may do more easily easier with professional help.
Does working with financial numbers overwhelm you? Pam’s website has a list of a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor she’s personally vetted, interviewed and profiled.
Have one run of them run your numbers through state-of-the-art software. The results project what to expect if you remain on your current saving and spending track. They’ll also indicate what downsizing your home or taking on a part-time job might do.
Numbers don’t lie. If the projections say your savings aren’t sustainable at your current spending rate, you’ll know it’s time for a change!
What and how realistic are your retirement expectations? If you’re already retired, how are your expectations working out? How healthy are your saving and spending habits? Please share our conversation on this ultra-important topic!
Tags Retirement Planning