When it comes to money, what keeps women up at night? Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning & Progress study reveals 87% of women feel anxious about their finances due to unexpected expenses, health care costs, credit card debt and more. Saving for retirement gives 29% of women the most anxiety, the study found.
My advice to women: Don’t let financial fears get in your way. With the right tools, information and a confident mindset, you can help overcome common money worries and be in a better position to achieve your goals. The key is answering five questions:
1. How can I sharpen my budgeting skills for retirement? Making the switch from earning a steady paycheck to relying on your retirement income can be tough. Retirement brings changes to not only your lifestyle, but to your budget as well. And there are additional factors to consider when mapping out your spending and saving, such as life expectancy.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates there is a 50% chance that a 65-year-old woman will live to 90 and an equal chance that a 65-year-old-man will live to 88. These additional two years of expenses make it essential for women to have a clear picture of what their financial habits in retirement should be.
Give yourself a trial run of what your new budget will look like before you retire. It’s helpful to calculate both your needs (the essentials) and wants (discretionary purchases) before seeing how these compare to any additional sources of retirement income you may receive, such as Social Security or a pension. By mapping out a complete list of assets and expenses, you can better visualize a plan for the future.