This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Prudential. All stories are my own.
Planning for your financial future can sometimes feel scary or far out of reach. When I found myself playing the role of a single mom, the future was not something I could even fathom saving for. I was so busy figuring out how to make ends meet each month and supporting my children all on my own that retirement seemed out of grasp. I often caught myself thinking, one day – I’ll have plenty of time.
Women face many financial challenges, beyond the common pay gap. Statistics show women make less money working in the same field as men, which is a sad fact*1. Although I was fortunate enough to not deal with gender discrimination in my career, I did face two big financial challenges many women struggle with.
On average, women in the U.S. spend 28 hours per week on household chores – 65% more than the average for men.*2 That is uncompensated work and it does not figure into women’s financial planning.
As a single mom for ten years, I did not have a partner to help with these household chores so 100% of that responsibility fell on my shoulders. Household chores were not the only tasks outside of work that I had. Caring for a child with special needs, that required several monthly doctor visits and surgeries at least once a year, made me miss many hours of work. There were years that Gabby had five surgeries within six months – two of which were brain surgeries! Taking on that financial challenge and time commitment alone was tough.
Prudential has created a tool called the “Value of All You Do” that lets you very quickly quantify the value of all the household chores you do on a daily basis.
Life insurance should cover not only the loss of your salary but also the value of the uncompensated work women do. We hate to think about what would happen if our family lost us, but the reality is that can happen. If I were no longer able to drive Gabby to all her doctor appointments and take care of my household responsibilities, someone would have to be paid to help out. Hiring a nanny is not cheap!
44% of women have no life insurance. Even among the ones that do own life insurance, most are underinsured. *3
Women’s discomfort with investing comes at a high cost for them: They are apt to delay investing, invest more in lower risk, lower return investments and are more likely to run out of money in retirement. On average women have 30% lower retirement balances than men.*4
I have not taken time to make investments beyond a typical savings bond. Most of what has held me back on investing are my lack of knowledge and fear of losing my money. Over the years my financial planning has consisted of slowly saving enough money to cover a few months worth of bills in case of an emergency.
I have also taught myself to do my best at setting money aside for unexpected medical bills. On average I spend $5,000 a year on medical expenses for Gabby, not including monthly insurance payments. That’s just doctor appointment copays, medications and a minor procedure. When you add in a surgery, the expense caps at our annual insurance maximum payout of $10,000. Finding extra money to take risks by investing is not easily done.
These are some of the reasons I am excited to partner with Prudential and SheSpeaks to meet with a Prudential Financial Professional. I am eager to find out how I can best plan not only for my future but also for the financial security for my daughter with special needs as well.
Soon I will be meeting with a local Prudential Financial Professional to see what small steps I can take today to help make our future more comfortable. I cannot wait to share with you the tips they have for me.
Click here to connect with a Prudential Financial Professional so you can take the first step to owning your financial future!
- Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables Table P-40: Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s Earnings by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
- Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54757.
- Source: LIMRA study, Life Insurance Ownership in Focus, U.S. Person-Level Trends: 2016
- Source: Prudential Retirement analysis reflecting defined contribution plan balances of Prudential record-kept plans as of December 31, 2015.