The Mommy Trap: Ensure Your Retirement
If you are a woman, then you are a little behind the eight ball. Even if you choose not to marry or have children, sometimes your career prospects are determined by your company’s expectation that you will eventually do just that. The fact is that the “mommy track” is still a big problem for us. Taking time away from your work, or putting your career on hold for a few years while your children are young, can affect your future financial plans and retirement in ways you can only guess at now. Get organized and save right away, so you can prevent disaster down the road.
Marriage & Divorce
On the one hand, western society has expected you to take time off from your job, or not have a job at all while your children are growing up. And luckily there are protections available based on that. If you are currently married, you are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits equaling half of your spouse’s benefits. That assumes that this sum is less than what you would receive from your own earnings. This is true even if you divorce, so long as you were married for ten years and remain unmarried while you receive those benefits.
This knowledge may offer you a little comfort, but you probably already know that it is not enough. Social Security benefits are minimal at best. If you are not employed, or if you have taken years off from working, improve your investments. If a 401k plan is not available to you, fund as much money as you can into an IRA savings account. And it never hurts to have a few investments on the side to create a passive income stream, though you should never keep all your eggs in one basket.
Retirement feels like it is so far away. And yet, the steps you take now can ensure your future security. Take heart in knowing that your time spent at home with your children is not a waste. But, beef up your savings and investments when you can.