Women Must Invest their Retirement Savings

 

Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
~Will Rogers

All kidding aside, I know that investing can be risky. But, Will Roger’s solution will not work for us. I just some alarming statistics about women and investing.  Only 25% of the women surveyed buy and sell stocks or mutual funds. And, only 48% of women will be relying on their investments for retirement!

So, ladies in the 75% and 52%, are you planning to rely solely on social security to fund your retirement?

Let me disabuse you of that notion. The average social security retirement benefit for those who retired in 2009 is $1153 per month. Just ask yourself what your current monthly budget is. Then answer the question, can or do you want to live on the monthly amount that Social Security alone will provide you for the rest of your life? For most of us the answer will be  a resounding, no! 

If you have worked for several years already, you will be able to calculate your current retirement benefit.  You can check your retirement benefit at: http://www.ssa.gov/estimator/

 In fact, if you are older than 25, the SSA is already sending you a retirement benefit summary every year. The summary is sent 3 months before your birthday. Review your benefit information. Save this information with your financial paperwork .

The 1/3rd

The reality is that Social Security realistically may only give you up to 1/3 rd of your retirement income. -Of course, this may change (for the worse) as the baby boomers (r)age through the Social Security system.

 The other 2/3rds

  1.  401(k)s, IRAs, SEPs, 404(b) s, etc. are supposed to give us another 1/3rd.
  2. And, our personal savings are supposed to give us the final 1/3rd.

Ladies it is past time for you to trade in your piggy banks for stocks, bonds, mutual funds or ETFs. The only way to keep up with inflation is to invest your money. 

Your goal is to maintain or better your spending power by beating inflation. Even if you don’t have much saved, consider the riskiness of not investing. We are responsible for providing 2/3rds of our own retirement income. Long term investing is the way to grow your money.

Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020

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