I just read Unemployed, 55, and Faking Normal. The article is about women that are now unemployed or underemployed. These are women that are educated. These are women that are used to living comfortably. Now, they are looking at homeless people and wondering how similar their stories might be. The first bit that really jumped out to me was:
The gender wage disparity gap costs women $431,360 over the course of their lives, according to the Center for American Progress.
That is a LOT of money. We know that women earn less (last count was $0.73 on the dollar) than men and live longer than men (women will die at 81 while men will die at 76, according to the Center for Disease Control) so women are caught in a double whammy.
The prospect is even worse if you are a woman of color: Today, three in 10 single black women over 65 and early 4 in 10 older single Hispanic women live in poverty, a rate more than twice that of white women, according to the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER).
What can we do to change this?
#1 Educate girls and women about personal finance concepts like compound interest, dollar cost averaging, net worth, etc.
#2 Start girls saving (in credit unions) and investing (in individual stocks or mutual funds) early.
#3 Encourage girls and women to grow a skill set that will bring in enough money for them to live on and grown their investments.
#4 Provide information to help girls and women invest in retirement accounts as soon as they have earned income (first job).
Social security won’t cover all your costs in retirement and having a job in your 20s or 30s doesn’t mean you won’t be unemployed in your 50s or 60s. Taking the time to invest in yourself might be the difference between surviving and thriving. Start now.
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