Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do you ever worry about ending up old and poor? | Prism Money | Ana...

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Do you ever worry about ending up old and poor? | Prism Money | Ana...

is the founder of Women's Financial Literacy Initiative where she writes, speaks and teaches about personal finance for working women. The opinions expressed here are her own. For many women, becoming the proverbial "bag lady under the bridge" is one of their worst nightmares. Myself included. I literally sit down with my husband and our financial planner twice a year to re-confirm that we are doing everything we can to make sure we do not Unfortunately, this fear of ending up old and poor is actually a very rational one for a high percentage of women. Recently, I had the chance to hear Karen Wimbish, Head of Wells Fargo Retail Retirement Group, and personal finance guru Jean Chatzky in conjunction with the launch of a new website to help women prepare for retirement, . I'm always looking for useful resources to direct women to, and I think this site can help a lot of folks. First up, the data: (Put your seat belts on. The numbers are stark.) Nearly one-third of women between the ages of 40 and 69 "can't estimate" how much money they can withdraw annually from their retirement accounts and about 32 percent of women in their 40s and 50s estimate they will withdraw between 11 percent – 30 percent of their savings annually. These are unrealistically high annual withdrawal rates – leaving them vulnerable to outliving their savings. While both men and women are under-saved for their retirements, the women polled had saved less than men – with a median retirement savings accumulated to date of $20,000 for women surveyed versus $25,000 for men. Worse still, despite longer expected life spans, when asked how much they were aiming for in retirement savings women aimed lower with a median goal of $200,000 versus $400,000 for men. A couple of key themes kept coming up during our chat. First, while many women are absolutely at the table on a day-to-day basis for bill payment and major household expenditures, when it comes to What does all this potentially mind-numbing data mean for your life? If you are in your 20s and 30s: The best action step is to max out your tax advantaged retirement plans (401k type plans and...

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