How to Take Charge
of Your Finances After 60
When I launched bridals by lori after college more than forty years ago, I quickly learned how to put my business degree in action by balancing the books, creating budgets, paying invoices, and actively investing money as a new business owner. When my business first started, it was too important a task to leave to someone else to do. Now, although I have a large staff and accountants, I still feel like it’s extremely important to be knowledgeable and aware of my finances and in control of planning for the future—and I take an active role in our family finances in our home.
As I travel the nation speaking to women, I’ve learned that many women don’t even know how to balance their checkbooks. Now, I know that no one really balances a checkbook anymore, not with online banking and software like Mint. However, many women also don’t know much about their retirement funds, stock portfolios, or the name of their financial advisor. When one of my colleagues told me that she thought that a 401K was just a really, really long marathon (kidding!), I knew it was high time we talked about this topic.
Ladies, you need to take control of your finances now! I’m not saying your husband or financial advisor isn’t doing a good job, what I’m saying is that you need to be aware of what’s going on with all aspects of your finances. From understanding where you’re at with mortgage payments, to being able to read your investment portfolio, now’s the time to become an active participant in your finances.
Putting your head in the sand about your finances or suggesting that it’s something your husband takes care of just doesn’t cut it at our age. We all hope and pray that our spouses live forever, but I’ve heard too many horror stories about women who lost husbands and inherited mountains of debt, a depleted retirement fund, and no idea what to do.
I’m not trying to scare you but I do think it’s really important that we all know what’s going on with our money. Read on for a couple of tips to help you take a more active role in your finances today!
- Create a Budget – If you don’t already do this, start by making a budget so you can track your income and expenses. This is really crucial now as we near retirement age, since our active income will likely stop rolling in and you’ll have to figure out how to live off of your pensions and retirement funds.
- Figure Out Your Retirement Income – This goes hand in hand with your budget. Now’s the time to look at your social security benefits and understand where your money will come from once you retire. Depending on this amount, you might have to readjust your retirement timeline.
- Take Inventory – This is the part where you sit down with your husband and together you compile an inventory of your finances. Information like where your retirement funds are located, estate planning papers and insurance policy numbers can be put in one place so you can actually refer to it in the future.
- Trim the Financial Fat – There are hidden fees in just about everything these days. Your financial advisor takes a cut, there’s commission every time you sell off part of your portfolio, management fees, etc. Declutter your finances and trim off some of those unnecessary extras.
Are you in charge of your family and/or business finances? Share your advice and recommendations in our comments!
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