Losing your spouse is hard enough without having to worry about the retirement you have built together. After many years of responsible saving and planning for a comfortable retirement together, it can be devastating to face the prospect of taking on those carefully laid plans alone. Though nothing can ever make up for the loss of a spouse, there are ways in which a widow or widower can lessen the financial burden by collecting some of a spouse's retirement funds.
Women & Wealth Blog
Book By: Kathleen Burns Kingsbury (Praeger, 2017)
Reviewed by Julie Fortin, CFP®, FBS®
Mixed financial messages abound when it comes to our collective money culture. Money can often bring up feelings of discomfort, anxiety, or shame. Consequently, money can be an uncomfortable topic of conversation that is typically avoided at all cost. However, this cultural confusion and silence around money is causing more harm than good when it comes to our emotional and financial health.
Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. While Social Security benefits are completely neutral when it comes to gender, there are ways in which women can benefit from thinking strategically about their Social Security income so that it can be of maximum value to them throughout retirement. Understanding the information in this article can help you better prepare for what you can expect from your Social Security benefits and can help you to determine when you should begin drawing from what you are eligible for.
The Intricacies of marriage and/or living with your partner later in life
While more and more older women are choosing to live with their partners, it doesn’t mean that there is a rise in marriage among this group of individuals. In fact, many older adults are delaying a trip to the altar or putting it off entirely.
A recent poll from the Pew Research Center reports that the number of people age 50 and older who live together with their unmarried partner increased by 75% between 2007 and 2016. A decade ago, 2.3 million mature unmarried adults were cohabitating and now that number is 4 million. That is almost a quarter of all adults who live together.
Making Sound Financial Decisions in the Wake of Sudden Money
The last word that comes to mind when you think about receiving a large sum of money is "shock". Indeed, the very notion of being the recipient of a financial windfall brings about feelings of extreme relief and jubilation, but the term "shock" to many, sounds a bit extreme. The reality, however, is that people can and do experience Money ShockTM that can negatively impact their decision-making while in financial transition. Stress, grief, panic, fear, and distrust are just some of the negative emotions that can come with new wealth. Those, coupled with feelings of excitement, relief, and joy, plus the potential for underlying family dynamics can lead to a mix of emotions that can lead to sleeplessness, confusion, clouded judgment and lack of thought clarity among other things. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Communicating with your spouse when it comes to finances and planning for the future can have a positive impact on, not just your financial well-being, but your relationship.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 31% of Americans admitted that they have lied to their spouses about finances. Financial infidelity can lead to a lack of trust in a relationship and can diminish open communication about other things beyond finances. When creating a strategy for long term financial plans it is paramount that couples share the responsibility and maintain an open dialogue with each other and their financial advisor.
As women, we see, perhaps in sharper focus, what women do to provide emotional, spiritual, and financial support for those they care for. Women often take lower paying positions in business in order to have more time with their children. Sometimes savings are sacrificed in order to pay for education and childcare. As their parents age, more often, they become the primary caretaker of the family.
When it comes to finances, women often put others before themselves when they address the equation. While the altruism in this is commendable, it has led to a great disparity in financial well-being between women and men. In Financial Finesse's most recent Gender Gap in Wellness reportreport the key findings were:
Recent studies have shown that one in four divorces are being filed by spouses over the age of 50. This shift has become a cause for concern for scholars and financial professionals because they are seeing the impact that it can have on these generations both emotionally and financially.
When nearing or in retirement a divorce can put a significant burden on assets and finances since there is little or no time to recuperate the losses incurred due to a divorce settlement.
Navigating relationship challenges when you have accumulated or earn more than your spouse or significant other.
Historically, fiscally unequal relationships have tipped toward the man having or making more than the woman in a relationship. In many cases, this also meant that men had more decision making power in relationships. But a rising trend since the late 20th century has been fiscally unequal relationships where the table is turned.
Have you ever made a financial decision and felt one way about it at the time but felt differently about it a few days, weeks or months down the road? In a research study published in the Harvard University Annual Review of Psychology, this type of a flip-flop is common and scientifically supported as part of the human condition.
Success, Well-Being and Prosperity in the coming year
As we embark on a new year, many of us make resolutions in the effort to improve something about our circumstances or lives. Though some resolutions are kept, many of us find that, come March or so, we have modified or altogether done away with the resolution; then, come 2018, rinse and repeat.
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