Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Old Story: Women May Have it Worse

Val sent me this L.A. Times article recently, which examines how once solidly middle-class or upper middle-class women find themselves facing severe financial difficulties in their retirement years. If you remember all the Caitlin Flanagan/Linda Hirschman brouhaha a few years ago, this was also pivotal issue in the stay-at-home mom debate: women who later end up divorced may have enormous gaps of years where they didn't contribute to Social Security, pensions, or 401(k)s because they were raising children, and not in the full-time workforce.

Says one of the women profiled in the piece:

"Maybe I'll be that old lady on the cruise ship working as a singer, and I'll supplement my income working in a nursing home," said Tucker Emerson, who lives on the coast of Maine. She added, "We need to teach our daughters that you have to take care of yourself for the future."

In the spirit of the New Year and making changes, please check out our book and the chapter called "A Shoulder to Lean On, Not a Bank Account to Sponge Off." The message: forget about devoting energy to the manhunt, or marrying well. It's about getting your sh*t together so you always know you can take care of yourself, man or no man.

I realize this isn't as easy to accomplish as a tagline--this is as much a political issue as it is a personal one. But apparently there are some things in the works: a bill was introduced last September. The Women's Retirement Act of 2006 could be the first of many societal changes to help level the playing field--even in the game's later innings.


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