Married, Single, Divorced or Widowed – women tend to live longer than men. There are also new statistics of how mentally sharp and physically fit women stay longer into life. Why is this important? If you guessed that these facts mean that women need to save and invest more then you guessed right. Men AND women, please keep reading!
Saving money is a function of numerous factors. #1 on the list is education and awareness of the basics of personal finance. The biggest “basic” is managing spending. Part of managing spending is paying yourself first! This means outright saving, saving through retirement accounts at work, IRA accounts, or in the case of a non-working spouse having the working spouse contribute to a spousal IRA. The importance for women of saving early and often cannot be emphasized enough. Even if the “savings light bulb” turns on after age 50, there is plenty of time to make meaningful progress!
The oldest of women today tend to have slightly less formal education than men but these women multi-tasked their whole lives which has positioned them well mentally in old age. Times have changed and the youngest of women often have more education than their male counterparts, but the multi-tasking remains more of a female trait. This trait serves women well later in life.
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted several physical and psychological factors that account for the approximately 4-year edge women have on men longevity-wise.
- Women tend to make more of an effort to maintain their physical and mental health than men.
- Memory in old age has been shown to be greater in women who attained higher levels of education, although mysteriously Alzheimer’s currently disproportionately affects more women.
- It has been found that women do not accept aging as well as men – partly attributed to men experiencing signs of aging earlier and getting used to the physical differences earlier in life.
- Both women and men tend to drop social expectations later in life, with women allowing themselves to be more assertive, sharp, and outspoken.
All of this adds up to women needing to build an awareness of saving both on their own (married or not) and together with a spouse if married. Aging is inevitable so financial awareness and education, especially for women, needs to be inevitable too.