Fidelity offers financial tips for women in dealing with life’s curveballs

women and investingWomen do 85 percent of the spending in this country but earn an average of 79 cents for every dollar men earn. We take breaks from the workforce more often and live an average of five years longer, to an average age of 92. Ninety percent of us are alone at some point in our lives.

Simply put, we should expect the unexpected. But how can we prepare for life’s inevitable curveballs, especially when it comes to financial planning?

In a recent webcast, Fidelity hosted a Q&A with financial experts Jean Chatzky, Kathy Murphy and Cheryl Wilson, who discussed how life-changing events can get in the way of financial planning and offered tips for taking an active role in our finances before these events happen.

Here are a few of their key recommendations:

  • Save for the short term and invest for the long term using the 50-15-5 rule: Aim to spend 50 percent of your income on living expenses, and put 15 percent toward retirement savings and 5 percent toward an emergency fund or short-term savings.
  • Prioritize saving, especially if you are getting a later start.
  • Automate your savings, not only for convenience but also to ensure you put away a set amount regularly.
  • If you are uncomfortable with the stock market, begin with more conservative investments.
  • Strive to have 10 times your salary saved by the time you retire.
  • Visualize what you are saving for to stay motivated.
  • If you take a break from the workforce, contribute to an SEP IRA or spousal IRA, if you can.
  • Discuss your financial plan with someone you trust.
  • Be willing to adjust your financial plan when the unanticipated happens.

To read more of the webcast summary, click here. To register for the upcoming webcast “Five Ways to Fit Investing into Your Busy Life,” visit This webcast is part of Fidelity’s Empowering Conversations series.

For information about the Vanderbilt Retirement Plan, visit the HR website.