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Thursday: Daydream About the Future (and Then Start Planning for It)
It's easy to procrastinate when retirement seems so far off and other demands—like student loans for 20-somethings and mortgage payments for 30-somethings—seem more pressing. And while you definitely should not neglect those obligations, retirement should be just as high a priority. In a panel on women and retirement sponsored by Merrill Lynch earlier this year, moderator Charles Gibson noted that in 2007 the average amount a woman had in her 401(k) was about $56,000, while a man had $95,000. Another fact from the seminar: Finance expert David Bach, who has written 11 books on money, said the general rule for anyone (men, women, married or single) is to save at least 10 percent of your gross income for your twilight years. But because of women's longer life spans (and think about how expensive those additional seven to nine years can be with nursing homes or extra medical care), he recommends that they save 15 percent.
— Lynn Andriani