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How Can Women Build Confidence in Ability to Retire Comfortably?

All of us would like to think we will enjoy a comfortable retirement. If youapostrophere a woman, however, you might be significantly more nervous than your male peers about life as a retiree. This fear may not be entirely justified, but, in any case, you can greatly improve your outlook for retirement by understanding where you are now - and how to get where you want to go.

But first, you may have to overcome both fear and a financial "gender gap." Consider these findings from recent surveys conducted by Harris Interactive:

  • Forty-six percent of the women surveyed said they worry about losing all their money and becoming destitute. Surprisingly, this figure rises to 48 percent among women with incomes of $100,000 or more.
  • Women were almost twice as likely as men to worry about money and to doubt their capacity to invest and plan for the future.
  • Only 10 percent of women said they feel quite secure about their finances.

These figures, while disturbing, at least partially reflect some basic realities of womenapostrophes lives. First, women typically outlive men by nearly seven years, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics - and more years of life mean more expenses. Also, women drop out of the work force for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents, according to the Older Womenapostrophes League, a research and advocacy group. This time away from the workforce results in women accumulating much less money in their employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Of course, if you are married, many of your financial assets are likely commingled with those of your husband. But that doesnapostrophet mean that you can abdicate responsibility for your financial future. Some 80 percent to 90 percent of todayapostrophes women will be solely responsible for their own finances at some point in their lives, according to the National Center for Women & Retirement.

So, what can you do to boost your confidence in your financial management skills? For starters, take a close look at all potential sources of retirement income: Social Security, savings, investments and retirement plan distributions. Estimate about how much you might have available for your retirement years.

Next, try to envision your "ideal" retirement lifestyle and put a "price tag" on it. For example, if you would like to continuously travel the world when you retire, youapostrophere probably going to need more money from your retirement funds than your neighbor who wants to stay home, pursue hobbies and possibly even open a small business.

Itapostrophes not always easy to plan, save and invest for retirement. Thatapostrophes why you may want to consider working with an experienced financial professional - someone who knows your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals, and who can recommend the appropriate investments and strategies.

Learn as much as you can about every aspect of your financial situation. Youapostrophell boost your confidence about having sufficient resources for retirement - and youapostrophell probably enjoy it more when you get there.


Article provided by Martha Turner, Edward Jones. Contact Martha Turner at (720) 872-2977.