Financial Tips For Women Hoping To Retire Someday

by steven on November 27, 2013

The sad truth remains that women earn less over their lifetime than men, which means they also typically have less saved for retirement. This is made all the more unfortunate by the fact that women also live longer than men, so their limited savings needs to last even longer! A 2012 Government Accountability Office report revealed that a startling 12 percent of women age 65 and older are living in poverty. If you don’t want to be a part of that statistic, start boosting your savings now and protecting your finances so you’ll be able to live comfortably after retirement!

  • Start saving NOW. Dedicate 10 percent of your income to retirement savings, starting today! Putting aside 10 percent of a $50,000 salary starting when you’re 25 would result in an incredible $2.2 million at retirement!
  • Set more money aside. Three sources of money will help you survive life after retirement – Social Security, a pension or retirement savings plan, and individual savings. Since women earn less then men, your Social Security benefits and retirement savings will be less, making individual saving more important.
  • Develop your own management skills. Keep a hand in your finances; since women live to be 80 on average while men only live to be 75, even if you’re in a solid marriage, you will likely to have to manage your own money someday. Besides, studies have shown that couples who divide financial tasks fare better than those who let one spouse take over the financial reins.
  • Look into a spousal IRA. Wives are typically entitled to at least a portion of their husband’s retirement savings, but pensions often decrease when the working partner dies.
  • Overestimate your financial needs. Be sure to take into consideration the possibility that you may live a rather long life or that inflation will erode the value of money while saving. Save more than you think you could ever really need, just in case.

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Most people know that talking about politics can be a bit taboo in polite conversation, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come up often – especially with family and co-workers. Despite popular believe, you don’t have to sound pretentious or off-putting when discussing (not arguing) politics, and doing so can broaden our horizons and expose us to different opinions. Here are some ways to talk politics with your peers without causing a fight.

  • Go Back to Civics Class. People are very quick to blame spending/taxes on the President, even though Congress holds the power of the purse (and the House is the only chamber that can introduce bills that have to do with the budget) – the President can draft and propose the national budget to Congress, but cannot change taxes and spending by himself. The only way to see through this kind of political confusion is with education – try to regain an understanding of what the basic branches of government are, what they’re responsible for, the powers they hold, and the checks and balances among them.
  • Study Sources that Offer Multiple Viewpoints. Confirmation bias is our own natural tendency to seek out and prioritize sources of information that back up our own opinions and preconceived notions, while marginalizing information and evidence that may contradict our long-held opinions and positions. You need to be able to check your bias at the door and be open to information that may contradict your position. You don’t have to change your opinion just because there’s a flaw in your argument, you just have to be willing to acknowledge it.
  • Take Your Emotions Out of the Equation and Stick to Facts. When you’re talking to people about politics, make the conversation as fact-based as possible; fervor is what leads to heated arguments, while facts and information are the components of a calm and reasoned discussion.
  • Separate People and Parties from Their Policies. Be willing to take even politicians you vote for to task openly when you disagree with them, and support them when you do. Policies are things that can transcend offices, people, and even parties.Focus on the issues that matter to you, rather than just focusing on a political party, and you’ll be a more well rounded citizen, a more informed voter, and a more level-headed conversationalist.
  • Disengage When You’re At An Impasse. Our brains are addicted to being right, but much of our goal here is to shut down that need to “win” a conversation – there’s a big difference between discussing and arguing, and staying on the civil side of that line is key to maintaining your composure and having informative, intelligent discussions with people. If your politics are personal to the point where you have no desire to associate or speak with people who disagree, your best bet is to avoid talking about politics whenever possible; you never know when you may be confronted with a coworker, friend, or family member you’ll never be able to talk to again.

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Google’s legal battle against the Authors Guild, who sued the big tech giant in 2005 claiming copyright infringement, is finally over. A New York federal judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit on Thursday, allowing the search giant to continue its quest to scan the world’s books.

Back in 2002, Larry Page decided that Google should digitize every book in the world to make them searchable, and the project went public late in 2004. But in 2005, The Authors Guild took legal action against the company, temporarily paralyzing the project. In the lawsuit, the Authors Guild tried getting $750 for each copyrighted book made digital, as they believed Google’s online library was in violation of “fair use” of copyrighted works by providing snippets of works. This would have added up to an enormous sum, as Google had scanned more than 20 million books.

Circuit Judge Denny Chin found that Google’s book-scanning project contributes to new audiences that offer new sources of income for authors and publishers.

“Google’s use of copyrighted works is highly transformative,” wrote Chin. “Words in books are being used in a way they have not been used before.”

Google was quick to remark on the legal victory, stating:

“This has been a long road, and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgement. As we have long said, Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age, giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow.”

Author’s Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken revealed that the group plans to appeal the decision, writing:

“We disagree with and are disappointed by the court’s decision today. This case presents a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court. Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense.”

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Smartphones have accounted for the majority of mobile phone sales in the U.S. for a few years now, but now a new report from multinational technology company Ericsson has revealed that smartphones now account for 55 percent of all new cellphone subscriptions globally, up from just 40 percent a year ago. Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach two billion globally this year, and will potentially quadruple again by 2019!

High-speed LTE connections grew by 25 million subscribers in the third quarter, helping to bring the estimated worldwide total to 150 million. Ericsson predicts that the number of LTE subscribers will hit 2.6 billion by the end of 2019, with 85 percent of subscribers in North America having LTE capability. In just six years, they believe 5.6 billion of the 9.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide (around 60 percent) will be for smartphones.

Perhaps most surprising of Ericsson’s report is their projection that phones will consume more mobile data this year than PCs, tablets and other devices. Check out the chart they release alongside their report below. Do you think  their predictions will prove accurate by 2019?

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 7.56.37 PM

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A recent report from the Washington Post, which cited documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, revealed that the National Security Agency sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google’s internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters, and that in the last 30 days, field collectors had processed and sent back more than 180 million new records. These revelations unsurprisingly outraged big tech, and triggered legal questions over whether or not the NSA is violating federal wiretap laws.

“Although there’s a diminished standard of legal protection for interception that occurs overseas, the fact that it was directed apparently to Google’s cloud and Yahoo’s cloud, and that there was no legal order as best we can tell to permit the interception, there is a good argument to make that the NSA has engaged in unlawful surveillance,” stated Marc Rotenberg, executive director of Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Well now, six of the biggest technology firms in the US are urging Congress to require more transparency from the NSA about surveillance and improved privacy protections. The letter, which was signed by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL, states:

“Recent disclosures regarding surveillance activity raise important concerns both in the United States and abroad.

[Transparency will] help to counter erroneous reports that we permit intelligence agencies ‘direct access’ to our companies’ servers or that we are participants in a bulk Internet records collection program. 

Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is clear that more needs to be done. Our companies believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.”

Digital rights advocacy group The Center for Democracy and Technology hopes that other companies will follow Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL’s lead and speak up.

“This is a defining moment and other companies must now step up to support genuine FISA reform or explain to their users why they are not,” said Leslie Harris, president and chief executive of CDT.

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