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The Savage Truth on Money, 2nd Edition by Terry Savage

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CHAPTER 11

THE SAVAGE TRUTH ON WOMEN AND MONEY

We Live Longer, We Need More

It’s a statistical fact: Not only do women live longer, on average, but we need more money to provide for ourselves in those later years. Although I’ve updated statistics in this chapter, these basic Truths have only become more apparent since the first edition of this book.

For many years, I resisted the idea that women have special financial planning needs. Yet, the numbers force us all to recognize that women have not made significant gains in financial security over the past few decades. Women are still paid less for comparable work, and many still work in jobs that are inherently lower paid.

Even worse, we have failed to save and invest for the future. A 2010 report by the Society of Actuaries says four out of ten women over age 65 living alone depend on Social Security for virtually all of their income. That portends a dismal future, since many of those women will live well into their nineties. This is the most critical financial difference for women and a basic Savage Truth: Women live longer.

Younger women are not getting the message. Studies of assets in 40l(k) plans show that younger women have actually grown more conservative in their investments or cut their savings rate in the wake of market volatility. Instead they should be saving more to offset their expected longer lifetime.

Here are the simple facts every woman must face:

  • Odds are you will live longer than men who are your age now.

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