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The Power of Women by Anita Srivastava

The Power of Women by Anita Srivastava, Ridgewood Moms

Women are a powerful economic force, both at the workplace as well as at home. They receive more bachelors and advanced college degrees than men[1]. They make up 46.9% of the total U.S. labor force[2]. More than 51.5% are employed in management and professional positions[3]. Women own $8 million of U.S. businesses, create 23 million jobs, and contribute $3 trillion to the economy[4].

This economic might and powerful influence translates into women playing an even greater key role within the household. It is estimated that 95% of woman are financial decision makers[5]. If married, this numbers falls by just a shade to 84% who are solely or jointly responsible for household financial decisions[6]. On top of this, 73% of women have control or influence over household spending[7]. This economic acumen and decision making grants them the status of becoming 47% of top wealth holders in the U.S[8]. Not just something to talk about – but something to balk about!

These are powerful facts on women’s earnings, their influence on household financial decisions, and their growth as a major economic force in America. But what is less known or discussed are the unique economic and financial challenges women face as they strive to make the most of these new opportunities.

As a contributor to Ridgewood Moms I will be writing on the specific challenges and opportunities women face and where possible strategies and solutions to overcome these challenges.

Living Long and Living Strong

Women tend to outlive men by about five years, and life expectancies continue to rise[1]. In addition, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2012, women age 65 and over were three times as likely as men of the same age to be widowed (37% compared with 12%), and nearly three-quarters (73%) of women aged 85 and over were widowed, compared with 36% of men[2]. In fact according to Social Security Administration, women who reach age 65 can expect to live, on average, 21 more years[3].

Do you know if you have what it takes to retire? Not only to last you through the extra two decades but also to pursue retirement the way you envisioned it? Most of us have high expectations for our retirement years which include travel, personal fulfillment from pursuing various activities and passions, and meaningful community and charitable actions. There are also many risk factors that can come in the way of our retirement dreams; Health care costs, Capital market and Sequence of returns, Inflation, Asset Allocation, Social Security distribution strategies and more. Have you considered these risks that can throw a wrench in you planning efforts?

The next series of articles will address each of these risk factors and their impact on our retirement dream.

People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money then you can have a key made.

~ Joan Rivers

~ Anita Srivastava is a Wealth Advisor with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Ridgewood. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Contact

[1] Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics, 2013

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Table 3: Employment Status of Civilian Noninstitutional population by Age, Sex, and Race, Annual Average 2012 (2013)

[3] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, "Table 11: Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity," Annual Averages 2012 (2013).

[4] “The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States,” 2009, National Women’s Business Council

[5] “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” 2010–2011 Prudential Research Study.

[6] Prudential Research Study, “Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women, 2010-2011.

[7] The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2011.

[8] Internal Revenue Service in the Boston Foundation, “How do Women do Philanthropy?”.

[9] Source: Center for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, October 10, 2012 (based on preliminary 2011 data, most recent available).

[10] Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2012 (most recent data available).

[11] Social Security Administration Life Expectancy Calculators: Life Expectancy.


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