Fifty years ago, just 11% of moms were the primary source of income for their families.
Today, 40% of moms are breadwinners. And women make up 47% of the workforce.
But it’s not all roses and sunshine. When you look at the statistics around how women manage their money, it’s pretty depressing.
Even though women are more likely to save than men, they’re less likely to invest.
Which might explain why, in a recent survey….
Only 7% of women said they were ‘very confident’ in their ability to live comfortably in retirement. Seven percent!
I have a theory about why that is…. Up until fairly recently, most women didn’t manage their own money or even have agency over their own financial futures.
Think about it this way –
If you’re a millennial, your mother probably lived at a time when women were paid 62% less than men. Click To Tweet
So I started to think more about what managing money actually looked like for our moms and grandmothers back when they started out on their financial journeys…
7 Things Women Couldn’t Do With Their Money 50 Years Ago
1. Get a credit card
Up until 1974, a bank could deny an unmarried woman a credit card.
They could also require a husband to cosign before issuing a credit card to a married woman.
2. Get a no-fault divorce
Before 1969 when the No Fault Divorce law was passed, a woman had to prove that her husband was at fault (through adultery, etc), and if her husband denied it or counterclaimed, the divorce could easily be overturned.
3. Get a business loan
It wasn’t until 1988 (which means I was already alive!) that the Women’s Business Ownership Act shot down state laws that required women to have a male relative sign her business loan.
4. Apply to “male-only” jobs
Before 1968 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission struck down this practice, it was common for employers to specify if their job opening was for men or women.
5. Have job security while pregnant
Women could be fired from their job just for, get this, being pregnant, up until 1978.
6. Have control over their own home equity
Up until 1981, a husband could take out a second mortgage on property that he and his wife owned together, without her signature (or even her knowledge!)
7. Be home with their child
As recently as the nineties, companies didn’t have to provide maternity leave.
In 2017 we undeniably have more freedoms and opportunities as women than were available to us 50 years ago.
But the numbers still show that women are MUCH more likely to live in poverty than men, especially as we grow older….
The income of women aged 65 and older is 25% lower than that of their male counterparts.
By age 80, that gap widens to 44%.
As a result, women over age 65 are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished.
So how do we solve this? How do we take control of our financial futures?
While finding extra ways to increase your income is a great first step for staying out of poverty, it has to be followed up with comprehensive money management – with or without a partner.
- Setting up and contributing to your retirement savings
You deserve to build a strong financial future on your terms. So don’t settle, go and do it.
You can start the process of implementing these action steps by joining the free 7 day Cash Confidence Challenge. Become a CONFIDENT financially independent woman – starting today through your retirement years!