Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Today we’ll continue taking a look at the gender gap in retirement strategy. Women tend to need more money than men in retirement because on average they live longer, have more healthcare expenses, and often make less money in their working lives than men do.
In addition to financial options—such as saving more, delaying retirement, and taking advantage of company matches in 401(k) funds—there are several non-financial steps that women can take to plan for their retirement.
Reframing retirement living
“We are bombarded with images of the happy retirement—the vacations, the palm trees, the golf courses—but we need to rethink our retirement and not buy into that,” says Jane Nowak, an Atlanta-based certified financial planner specializing in women’s retirement. “Retirement doesn’t have to be what someone tells us it looks like.”
Living together with other women—whether siblings, single women, or women who have lost their spouses—brings big benefits in shared housing expenses and increased companionship, says Jan Cullinane, author of “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life” and the upcoming “The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement” (John Wiley & Sons, 2012).
Cullinane recommends that women look at creative housing arrangements to help lower costs. For instance, in co-housing communities, residents have their own attached or single-family homes, but they can take advantage of a communal dining room, recreational facilities, and other resources.
Women also can comfortably live with a friend or sibling in an apartment with two master bedrooms and share cooking and housing expenses.
“Where you live certainly affects how you live,” Cullinane says. Living among an appropriate peer group can help encourage you to live frugally and not outspend your means. If you are living in a community where everyone is pinching pennies and having potluck dinner parties, then you might feel at ease doing the same.
Another trend that Cullinane notices is Americans living abroad, where living costs and healthcare costs often are lower. American communities are springing up in Mexico and Panama to attract retirees, she says.
Improve your health
Retirees are often faced with huge healthcare expenses in their later years. About 75 percent of healthcare spending in the United Sates is due to chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. These lifestyle-related diseases are largely under our control. To help combat them, get in good health now, Cullinane says, by exercising more and eating better.
Additionally, take the time to fit your house with universal design concepts, like wider doorways, rocker light switches, a first-floor master bedroom and a curb-less shower, to make rooms easily accessible. “Universal design allows you to stay where you are. You’re less likely to move to an assisted living facility if you can stay in your home longer,” Cullinane says.
People are working later in life because they need continued income, health benefits, and mental and social stimulation. “80 is the new 60,” Cullinane says. While seniors might not be able to land the traditional full-time jobs that they’ve had in the past, they might find alternative jobs with companies like Comfort Keepers, where they can act as aides to the elderly. Or, they might find a job where they can work part-time yet still receive health benefits, such as by working as an aide in a school system.
Making smart decisions now can make the road to retirement smoother. Being aware of financial and non-financial options to bridge the retirement gender gap can make your money last as long as you do.
A Chicago-based writer and editor, Eve Becker writes about personal finance, health and other topics. She is a former managing editor of Tribune Media Services.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.