March 8th, 2011
Wise Money Advice From Women Over 50
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**Today’s guest post is contributed by LearnVest.**
Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, with celebrations taking place around the world. Debuting in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, the global day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday (hint, hint, United States).
How far have women come in the U.S. since the early 1900s?
- In 1900, 19% of working-age women participated in the workforce. In 1950, it was 34%. Today that number is 60%.
- In 1900, women earned 54% of what men earn. In 1950, women earned 60%. Today that number is 77%.
One message rings loud and clear to us: Financial literacy is not just an option, it’s a privilege and an obligation to ourselves as women, given how far we have come. We have financial options and opportunities our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have. Let’s make the most of them!
We decided to celebrate International Women’s Day by asking women over 50: What would you tell your 20-year-old self about money if you had the chance? The answers were inspiring, humbling, poignant, and above all – wise. They ran the gamut from the importance of savings and retirement to understanding needs vs. wants, but one common theme emerged: not depending on a man to be financially secure.
Here are some of our favorite words of wisdom.
“Do not rely on your husband or father to do your taxes.”
Donna Meister-Simmons, 51
(Learn about doing your taxes here.)
“Love yourself first and plan to take care of you. Even if you choose to share your life with someone, make sure that you remain independently, financially secure. Plan for your future without that person because you just never know…’happily ever after’ may not really be forever.”
Lynne DuRant, 50
“Make sure you have your own career to bring you income and don’t rely on your husband to totally support you. Also, save some money weekly for the bad times, which everyone encounters.”
Renee Rubin-Ross, 72
(Learn the basics of savings.)
DO IT NOW, NOT LATER!
“Good things do not come to those who wait in the area of personal finance. Draw up a budget NOW, even if it’s for how you’re spending your parent’s money.”
Lorraine Johnson, 50
(Get started with LV’s budgeting tool.)
“The years go by quickly, and you are never too young to start saving for your retirement, strange as that may sound. Many people of retirement age are surprised to learn that they can’t retire due to lack of savings and planning.”
Willa Schneider, 63
Dix Hills, NY
VALUE YOUR CAREER
“Have a career that matters and that you can go back to if/after you have children. NEVER depend on a man or his income to be your sole supporter. They come and go. Women need to have their own careers where they can make their own money and their own checking accounts!”
Laurie Deane, 60
(Use LV’s “I am Starting a New Job” checklist.)
“Choose companies that offer 401(k) plans.”
Donna Meister-Simmons, 51
Read the rest of these fantastic words of advice on careers, saving money, spending, and more on LearnVest!
Any words of advice to add to this list, Credit Karma community? Tell us in the comments below!