Everyone has been buzzing about a new Pew survey that finds a record number of women are the breadwinners. The survey results show a shift in the amount of money women are bringing home. In fact, some married women (5.1 million) are earning more than their husbands. On the flip side, there are single mothers (8.6 million) supporting their families alone.
As you can probably imagine the income disparity between the two groups is large. The married women total household income is $80,000 compared to $23,000 for unmarried single mothers. For a thoughtful perspective on this survey, read the article “Pew study: Two different tales of women earners.”
Women Breadwinners, yet Afraid of Becoming Bag Ladies
Despite the fact more women are breadwinners, some of us have this fear of becoming a ‘bag lady’. You know, like the pigeon lady in the movie Home Alone 2. After all, we live longer than men. Will we have enough income to support ourselves during the golden years?
If you’ve ever been afraid of becoming a bag lady, you’re not alone. A recent survey by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America revealed nearly half of women across all income levels are afraid too. According to this survey, “49% of women fear ending up broke and homeless.”
How can we conquer this fear? As Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
To conquer this bag lady fear, we must take some serious action. And plan and work towards a comfortable retirement. This will give you more security.
And I’m not talking about Social Security here. Since Social Security was never intended to provide a comfortable retirement. The Social Security Administration says, “For the average worker Social Security replaces only about 40% of pre-retirement income, the balance must come from pensions and savings and investments.”
With everyday costs (food, shelter, energy) going up, who can afford to live on 40% of pre-retirement income? Besides, who knows what’s going to happen to Social Security? We’ve already seen pension plans change or vanish completely.
So we need to take action now. And put a financial plan in place to build up our savings and investments. This will give us more peace of mind about the future.
You may be saying, “It’s too confusing.” But it’s too important to do nothing.
You can start by familiarizing yourself with the retirement plans available at work. Are you leaving free retirement money on the table? You could be doing this and not even know it.
Saving for retirement is an important subject to me. That’s why I discuss this topic in my book, “Get Your Money Right”. And break down the most common retirement savings options in an easy-to-understand manner. But I’m not a financial planner. So consider working with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) to help you create a financial plan to reach your goals.
After all, you work hard and deserve a comfortable retirement. It’s all in your hands, take control of your financial future.
Sound Off! – Are you afraid of becoming a bag lady? Why or why not? What’s working for you in retirement planning?