9 financial planning rules for women

Protect your retirement
Protect your retirement © Cheryl Savan/

Protect your retirement

Just as flight attendants instruct passengers to first don their own air masks in case of emergency before placing one on their child, Fain says personal finance planning requires the same protocol. Your financial survival depends on "paying yourself first" by saving for retirement.

"Make sure that your house is in order, that your finances are secure -- and then you can look around and see what your capacity is to help other people around you," Fain says.

Because women live longer than men, they have a greater fear of outliving their retirement savings, according to Fain.

"I haven't met a woman yet who's not worried about running out of money," she says.

One mistake many women make is taking Social Security payments too early. Say you're currently 50 years old and thinking of retiring at 62 instead of waiting until your full retirement age of 67. Your monthly Social Security benefit would be reduced by as much as 30 percent.

"Because women love security, they think, 'Let me get that payment now; it's cash flow coming in,'" says Scharr-Bykowsky. "I would say nine times out of 10, they regret that (decision)."


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