Women and the Recession

An article in the New York Times about women going back to work because of the recession made me realize how women are affected differently by the Great Recession.  The article discussedwomen going back to work because their investments have plunged in value or husbands have been laid off.  While 78% of the people who lost jobs in this recession are men, women are tremendously affected because they are going back to work at lower pay levels and most likely not saving for their retirement.  Most of us know that being out of the work force drastically affects a woman’s savings, but did you know by how much? For every two years a woman doesn’t work, her earnings fall by 10% THROUGHOUT her career, according to studies.  

On a local level, there is a woman in my SIMPLY MONEY class who is having a hard time finding a full-time job.  She is a talented, successful graphic designer that has been working freelance for years.  On a positive note, another SIMPLY MONEY participant just got a job that tripled her salary and another colleague just got a fantastic job in her target market. If you are looking for a new job or thinking about going back to work, here are a few things to think about.

  1. Check out the industries that are hiring.  This articles lists 7:  http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/employment/7-Places-Where-College-Grads-Can-Find-Work/
  2. If you aren’t working, still make sure you are saving something for your retirement.  Technically, you have to earn something to add to a ROTH IRA.  But if you earned anything this year, just add $100 to your ROTH IRA.  Find that money in your budget.  If you can’t, call me and I will!
  3. If you are a stay-at-home mom (or dad), you can open a Spousal IRA.
  4. If you have a family and your finances are in good order (for example you have at least six months of savings and you own your own home with equity) consider a whole life insurance policy that serves both the insurance and savings need.
  5. Lastly, by realistically writing down what money you need for your day to day life and to save as much as you can to retire successfully, the light bulb might go off that you really need to make more money.  You might also come up with the amount of money you need to make. Next thing you know, you are earning more.  By being aware of our financial needs, we are able to take care of ourselves better.