April 29, 2022 – As Financial Literacy Month comes to a close, we want to share all the tips, tools and resources for improving your financial know-how that WISER has been sharing all month long.
Retirement Planning Basics
Know how much income you will need
Do you know YOUR number? An important and often overlooked step is figuring out how much income you will need in retirement. It may sound like an impossible task but remember, the goal is to get a best estimate that reflects YOUR personal situation. And the good news is there are a lot of easy-to-use online tools that can help. Check out some of WISER’s favorite retirement planning calculators and get in the know!
Get to know your Social Security benefit
Where is your retirement money coming from? Social Security is a key source of retirement income for most Americans and especially for women for who live longer on average. Get to know your Social Security benefit and understand your options before you claim. Sign up to access your online statement and other benefit information at www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.
Know about your company benefits
A typical employer benefits package can be worth as much as 32% of an employee’s income and can include retirement; health, disability, life, long-term care insurance; and flexible spending accounts. Know what your employer provides and take advantage of these opportunities to help protect your future. Read WISER’s 22 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Company Benefits Plan. No employer benefits? Check out WISER’s website to learn about other ways to plan, save and invest.
Emergency Savings Funds
Life is full unexpected twists and turns. No matter your age or income, everyone needs an emergency savings fund to help stay on track. It provides peace of mind and a financial cushion that can help keep you out of debt.
Financial Steps for Caregivers
Caregivers often take on caregiving responsibilities with little notice or preparation. While caregiving can be a rewarding responsibility, it can also have significant financial consequences for both the caregiver and care recipient. Check out WISER’s newest online tool, the Financial Caregiving Hub. It’s a one-stop clearinghouse for information, tools, and resources to help family caregivers.
Five Questions to Ask Your Mother or Grandmother
Too often, older women live out their retirement years trying to stretch modest incomes to meet the increasing costs of health care, housing, and day-to-day expenses. Use WISER’s guide, Five Questions to Ask Your Mother or Grandmother to spark conversation so that you can both feel more informed and secure.
Caregiving involves a diverse and oftentimes overwhelming range of tasks and responsibilities. It is important to know where you can go for help. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families. This includes help with support services, housing, transportation, health, elder rights and more. Visit www.eldercare.acl.gov. Or call 800-677-1116.
Caregivers often pay out-of-pocket for expenses related to caregiving. Find out if there are benefits available for your care recipient that can help manage costs. BenefitsCheckUp ®is a free tool from the National Council on Aging that connects older adults with a variety benefits they may qualify for, including healthcare, medications, transportation, housing, food & nutrition and more. Visit www.benefitscheckup.org or call the helpline at 1-800-794-6559.
Special Issues Impacting Women & Retirement
Women are three times more likely to experience the death of a spouse than men. For many women, widowhood means taking on and making important at a particularly difficult time. WISER’s step-by-step Going it Alone – A Guide for Widows can help with navigating the immediate financial challenges and making long-term plans for your future financial security.
Divorce is a life event that can greatly alter your financial plans. The emotional toll can be hard enough to manage along with the many practical issues. Retirement funds may be among the biggest assets you have as a couple, and it is important to know that these funds are not automatically split in a divorce. Learn more in WISER’s guide on Divorce and Retirement.
Thanks for celebrating Financial Literacy Month with WISER. Keep learning, planning and saving!