I am a single woman over fifty which makes me part of one of the fastest growing demographics in our country. I call this group SWOF (Single Women Over Fifty).
The growth of this demographic is attributable to three ongoing cultural shifts that began a few decades ago:
- (1) the marriage rate for women is in decline
- (2) grey divorce (over 50) is increasing and has doubled since 1990
- (3) more and more women over 50 are choosing to stay single. A recent Pew Center study reports only 15% of SWOFs say they wish to be married.
Although we are a very diverse group of women, what we have in common is that we’ve made it through significant life experiences and have arrived at a point of independence where we make our own financial decisions and are solely responsible for our future.
Almost everyone knows someone in this group. It’s a likable group of women! We’re moms, aunts, sisters, and friends who most likely have cared or currently care for others on an ongoing basis. The majority of women who took some time off to raise their children have missed 401k and Social Security contributions during their prime earning years. According to a Merrill Lynch study, 60% of women worry about not having enough money for retirement and 50% are nervous about the financial decisions they make. The same study also notes that women tend to feel uncomfortable about money because of the way we were raised and feel less confident about our money situation because of various life choices related to it.
We’re Here for Each Other
If we put all this data together, what we have is a large and growing population of women quickly approaching retirement who, as a group, haven’t been able to make their finances a priority, are uncomfortable with finances, question their ability to manage and invest and likely aren’t leveraging financial professionals to insure they are prepared for retirement. If you are in this group, this is your call to action! We can’t change the past but we can begin to change our future today.
Stay tuned for additional blog posts on how to positively change your relationship with money and improve your financial future.
Gayle Evezich, AFC® is a Senior Financial Concierge at Your Money Line and personal finance author. Gayle’s greatest joy is to help others find comfort with their money through financial empowerment. When not working or donating her services, you can find Gayle hiking, cooking creative vegan food, traveling or reading scandalous murder mysteries!