This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Prudential.
Four years ago, I quit my full-time job as a paralegal to become a stay-at-home Mom. It was the first time in my adult life that I was not earning a paycheck. Instead, I was relying solely on my husband’s income. Not having any income of my own, or any money in savings, made me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable. If anything had happened to my husband’s income during that time, I don’t know what I would have done.
After we added a second child to our family and purchased our first home, I realized it was time for me to get serious about planning for the future. While I don’t like to think about bad things happening in my life, I know it is always best to plan for any curve-balls that might be thrown your way. You just never know what the future might bring.
As a woman, it is especially important to make sure that I am financially secure. There are so many financial challenges that women face. Women outlive men by an average of 5-6 years¹, yet most of us are not prepared for those years alone. Divorce is also more prevalent and women are choosing to remain single².
The average woman working full-time earns just 79% of the income earned by her male counterpart³. This wage gap results in women predictably having social security benefits that are 27% lower than that of their male counterparts4. Women also have 30% lower retirement balances than men5. Women don’t invest as much as men do6. They feel uncomfortable with it, so they are apt to delay investing, invest more in lower risk, lower return investments and are more likely to run out of money in retirement. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? I want to be able to enjoy my later years, not worry about how I’m going to pay for my basic expenses. I have been hesitant to make investments in the past because it seems a bit overwhelming to me, but I am determined to work with a financial advisor to learn more, and make smart decisions for my financial future this year.
Another challenge that women face is finding time for financial planning. On average, women in the US spend 28 hours per week on household chores – 65% more than the average for men7. That’s not really surprising is it though? I feel like I never have a free moment, and at the end of a long day taking care of my kids and cleaning my house, financial planning is certainly not on my mind.
Where are you at in your own financial journey, and what are your financial goals? My financial goals are to save money to help pay for my children’s college expenses, to pay off our home mortgage, investing for retirement, and saving for unexpected expenses, such as an illness. I also want to make sure that I have an adequate amount of life insurance. A whopping 44% of women have no life insurance, and most women that do are underinsured8. I don’t want to leave a financial burden for my husband or children in the event of my death.
Prudential wants to help women educate themselves about all of these challenges that they face, so they can prepare and protect themselves. Prudential aims to empower women with financial solutions so they can be confident they are making the right decisions for themselves and their families.
The Financial Experience study tracks women’s outlook towards financial planning. Women do care about financial security, and their most important goal is having enough money to maintain their lifestyle through retirement. Prudential has learned that many women don’t care for the financial services jargon and they feel starved for time and strapped for cash. Even though women take care of day-to-day budgeting, they leave out some of the most important pieces of long-term financial planning such as insurance and saving for retirement.
Watch the conversation below between SheSpeaks influencers Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney to see how financial challenges affect women today, and seek a Prudential advisor to start planning for your own future now!
- Source: Prudential Retirement analysis; National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD. 2016
- Source: Cruz, Julisa, “Marriage: More Than a Century of Change” (FP13-13), National Center for Family & Marriage, 2013,)
- Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables Table P-40: Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s Earnings by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
- Source: Social Security Administration, Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2016
- Source: Prudential Retirement analysis reflecting defined contribution plan balances of Prudential record-kept plans as of December 31, 2015
- Source: http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/sallie-krawcheck-ellevest-launch;
- Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54757
- Source: LIMRA study, Life Insurance Ownership in Focus, U.S. Person-Level Trends: 2016