In our old age, men live much better than women.
Overall, 70.4% of men 65+ enjoy 2-person income to cover a comfortable living ad shared costs, nicer shared home, and benefit from two sets of tax credits for a lower combined tax and higher disposable income. Compared to 42.6% of women.
Single and widowed women have lower incomes to cover all the expenses shared by married couples with only half the tax credits to offset tax liabilities.
These statistics tell a stark story. Women, are disproportionately suffering in old age compared to men.
No one will teach you this in school and your mother will not teach you. Because by the time she learns this, she will be old and too ashamed.
No widow wants to tell her children that their dad, nor her took steps to care for her after he was gone.
I can’t help them, other than to console them with my breaking heart.
I can help you before it’s too late.
Here are some ways to prevent this tragedy from happening to you or your loved one.
Note: American women live about 5.4 longer (Avg age 80.5) than men. If you are married, adjust the age difference with 5.4 years. This determines how many years you and your beloved spouse could be living on only a widows’ income.
- Do some rough estimates of your projected income as a couple and as a single and expenses. This will take some research, but it’s well worth it.
- Put money away every month for retirement.
- Take out a life insurance policy, especially on the husband if he is much older or has a heart condition that runs in the family. This can be a form of retirement savings.
- Pay off your mortgage as fast as you can and have a life insurance policy to cover it (look for one that covers the initial mortgage amount, not the declining balance)
- Don’t live in a house larger than you need for you two.
- Talk about all of your finances and share roles so each of you are prepared when this falls just on you.
- Live credit card debt free. Pay it off every month.
- Live below your means if you can.
- Travel economically, not lavishly.
- Do not loan your irresponsible child money, ever. Your future self will thank you when you don’t have to sell your house to survive.)
- Do not take money out of your retirement funds to loan/ give your kids’ money, unless you have millions.
- Seek a professional financial planner or invest in some good courses at minimum.
Husbands inevitably, one of you will survive the other, most likely the wife. Make sure that your death does not drive her to decades of despair and poverty.
Women and wives, this is the 21st century. Your wellbeing in your older years is your responsibility too.
I promise you this is the reality of many women, and you have the power to prevent it, if you plan now.
P.S. The same goes for an updated will after marriage, a baby is born or a long term common-law relationship.