MOST OF THE FINANCIAL HARDSHIP EXPERIENCED BY WOMEN IN LATER LIFE IS DUE TO SOMEONE REFUSING TO FACE FACTS EARLY ON.
These days there is no need for any woman to spend second half of her life with a lower standard of living. Yet many still do. This is because they continually defer decision to do something about preparing for their financial future until it is too late.
In some instances it is because a woman doesn't know exactly what financial provision has been made for her, or feels awkward asking. Or maybe she doesn't marry, in which case she MUST provide for herself, but fails to do so. When you are young, healthy and enjoying life, it seems unnecessary to be thinking of putting something aside and there is always something else to spend money on. With good luck of course you may never need to bother. But trusting in luck is no way to provide for your future, how often has luck let you down in past?
Life, as 'they' (who is 'they'?) say, is what happens to you while you are making plans to do something else. (Think it was John Lennon who uttered those wise words.) So it is better to make provision for unexpected, because older you get, more unexpected happens.
WOMEN NEED TO PREPARE FOR FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE JUST AS MUCH AS MEN DO.
These days one does not hear so much about "family breadwinner," largely because so many women either provide for themselves or make a substantial contribution to FAMILY INCOME.
But what happens if your husband dies and his income dies with him? Suddenly you are prevented from working.
All to often result is a dramatic fall in family's standard of living and in their quality of life. And this happens just at time creature comforts are most needed to soften blow. No amount of money can bring back a loved one, but quite small amounts set aside regularly can make difference between sadness and absolute despair for you and your children.
The only way to be sure you can cope is to do something about it yourself-- to make sure you are adequately provided for.
THREE OUT OF FOUR WOMEN HAVE NO PERSONAL SAVINGS.
Women are natural savers. Security comes very high on their list of life's priorities and yet so few have actually managed to save anything at all.
Others have put aside a little in a savings account or building society which is fine for short term savings but doesn't really offer a chance for money to grow into a worthwhile sum. Many who have saved watched demand of early years of marriage swallow up their nest egg and never had enough incentive to replace it later on, thinking that everything would be provided for.
WOMEN LIVE LONGER AND SO HAVE A GREATER CHANCE OF BEING LEFT ALONE.
On average a woman can expect to live longer than a man. For a married woman implications are obvious but a single woman will also face possibility that later in life she will have fewer friends and relatives around. In neither case is this a time for financial hardship.