Brought to you by Aysha van de Paer:
Why just women?
I think I’ve pushed on some of our feminist friends’ buttons when I decided to go with this title. Don’t worry; I’m female too. And don’t get me wrong because I love being a woman. I’m really proud to be one. However, we may have come far, but still, some parts of society beg to differ. With things as they are, we can never truly say that we’ve achieved equality – not with the way the labor industry looks.
This is why, for women, the value of financial security should be deemed twice as high. As members of the female gender, we must learn to grab hold of our futures. We have to ensure that we prepare enough during our productive years so we can retire in-style. We may not feel alarmed about this reality right now since we’re still far from living it, but the time will come that we’ll regret even the littlest decisions we didn’t make.
Fortunately, women are known to be good listeners, so I know that I have a pretty good chance of drilling some sense in you today. Your future is important, and I’m here to tell you why there is a need to protect it.
Why Work Twice as Hard to Secure Your Future
Why am I taking all this future-stuff so seriously?
What’s all this rage about financial security?
It’s not like I’m growing old alone, am I?
These are probably a few questions boggling inside your head right now. I mean, why do I sound so serious? Why am I talking as if you’re going to be a grandma tomorrow?
My friend, our life speeds past us. Take 2019, for example. We’re already half way through it! Doesn’t it seem like we were celebrating New Year’s just yesterday? Time is very elusive and it flashes before our very eyes. One moment we’re here; one moment we’re gone. If we keep putting this issue off for tomorrow, you just might run out of tomorrows. Next thing you know, you’re old and wrinkly with nothing to your name.
Did you know that back in 2011, 66 million Americans who are 65 and over were still a part of the labor force? This number has steadily increased through the years. In 2017, it grew by a whopping 19.3 percent (see reference). And guess what? A huge chunk of these past-retirement workers are women.
Why Women and Men Alike Work Past Retirement Age
Okay. Let’s not jump to conclusions here. Not everyone who works past retirement is forced to work – either by people or the situations they’re in. Some work because they love to work (Check out more reasons here).
Sounds sketchy, right? I mean, who in the whole wide world would dare say they love to work and they’d rather not retire from it? You would think that no person in their right mind would exchange paradise for an office, but some people feel tortured when they’re being unproductive. They would rather put their time to good use by earning rather than lounging at home doing nothing. Even I can’t see myself totally quitting work when old age comes. After all, what’s left to do?
However, aside from the lucky ones who actually have the option to work or not, there are those who are compelled to work because of their life situation. It could be that they are lacking at home or maybe they’ve got a child and still need to earn for both of them. You see, not all people retire with flying colors – no matter how hard or how dedicated they are during their younger years. Things happen and sometimes, life isn’t as you’d expect. But in the end, there are only two things that can lead you to a life of work after work:
- Something beyond your control happens (e.g. a dependent child, someone got terribly ill in the family, etc.)
- You didn’t prepare enough when you had the chance to
In fact, number one may not even exist it you followed number two closely enough.
Let me just lay this down for you:
We work for approximately 20 or 25 years of our lives and then we retire (supposedly). After we retire, we may or may not live for another 25 or 30 years (maybe even longer). Even if you saved money every pay check, even if you religiously paid all your pension plan dues, and even if you tried to live as frugally as you can, you cannot fend for the last decades of your life after work. It’s just impossible.
Why do I say this?
Consider inflation as one factor. What you are saving now will not have the same perceived value in the future. Market prices increase by the year. Before you know it, $1,000 would feel like $100. If you saved normally, your “big and substantial” savings now may just be cheap change in the future. That was a bit exaggerated but I’m sure you get the point.
Life after work is not paradise. It’s a life of budgeting and making ends meet – unless you do something about it.
Unlike saving your money in the old piggy bank fashion, investing your money in sustainable stocks and market trades may afford you a comfortable life in the future. Investments grow with time, and they can be your ultimate ticket to financial security. Your money does not sleep and gain 2% per annum like what banks offer. It grows steadily, sometimes drastically, and by the time you hit retirement – it has ripened to the best it can be.
Investing early secures your future – especially when you’re a woman. It may come with significant risks, but it also offers promising results. You just have to know where to invest exactly. Go big or go home is what I’d always say.
If you dream of a stress-free future, investing now is the key.