I was recently asked what three things I would tell a woman over 40 about dealing with her money. It wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just the three most important things. But after some thought, here are the three reminders that I believe are most relevant to a woman in her 40s when it comes to money.
1. It’s time to lean into your savings goals. It’s never too late to save and, chances are, as a woman over 40, you are at or near the peak of your earning power. Make the most of this window of opportunity. Create and implement an accelerated savings plan to fatten your retirement nest egg (for example, max out every type of retirement account you are eligible for) and pay off lingering debts.
2. Make sure you have enough insurance. Financial security is about more than growing the balance in your bank or retirement account. Safeguarding your financial health for the long-term means expecting the unexpected. Review your home, health, life and auto insurance policies to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your savings and your family in case of a medical or legal emergency.
3. When it comes to money, put on your own oxygen mask first. Too many women put off saving for retirement and instead prioritize saving for their kids’ college – or, even after the kids leave home, they support their kids by picking up costs like car insurance or cell phone bills. If you’re a woman in your 40s who has not yet reached your retirement savings goals, you may need to rethink your current priorities – including taking the difficult step of reducing or even eliminating financial assistance to adult children. Think of it as putting on your oxygen mask first. It may feel counter-intuitive, but after all, your security in retirement is something your children want for you, too.