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How Women Can Overcome Four Financial Challenges
Patricia Barton
For women today, life can be a balancing act between family, career and personal obligations. At the same time, women often face unique challenges when it comes to managing their finances. If you are a woman working to build your financial confidence today and tomorrow, understanding key challenges isthe first step to overcoming them.
Challenge #1 – The income gap
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
median weekly earnings for women age 16 and older was 82 percent of the amount earned by men in the same age group.1 This earnings dis- advantage can affect how women manage living expenses and long-term goals like retirement or saving for a child’s college tuition.
How to overcome the income gap
You can help close the
gap in several ways.
First, keep informed of
salary trends for your
industry, roleand job
experience, and use the
knowledge to negotiate
your future compensa-
tion. Second, take fulladvantage of your work- place benefits – both financial (e.g. stock options, retirement plans) andnonfinancial (e.g. fitness center, onsite healthcare). Aim to set aside 10-15 percent of your income in your retire- ment plan – or at least enough to capture the matching contribution offered by your employ- er, if applicable. And third, invest wisely accord- ing to your risk tolerance and time horizon. Diversifying yourinvestments and staying invested over time can help you achieve your long-term objectives.
Challenge #2 – The likelihood of a longer retirement
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy for U.S. women exceeds that ofmen by five years (81.1 years for women vs. 76.1 years for men as of 2016).2 While five years may not seem like much, rising inflation and healthcare costs may require retirees to save more to cover expenses
in retirement.
How to plan for longevity
Life expectancy trends serve as a reminder to pay your- self first. Commit to saving part of each pay-
check, even if it’s only a modest amount to start, as well as any windfalls you receive (e.g. tax refunds, bonuses,commissions). If you’re near retirement, carefully select the timing of when you, or your spouse if you’re married, begin claiming Social Security benefits. Your monthly benefit increases with time, which can be an important piece of your retirement paycheck.
Challenge #3 – Balancing multiple priori- ties
Life can be a juggling act for many women who are balancing their career with raising chil- dren or caring for an aging parent. It is also not unusual to see women take the lead on caring
for aging parents or other family members. Such significant commitments can limit the time that can be devoted to pursuing career goals and making sure financial plans are on track.
How to balance multiple priorities
Decide what your collective financial goals are, and determine a process for saving, paying bills and handling other financial tasks. Good com- munication about your priorities can help alle- viate pain points and anticipate future expenses. If you have children, it’s never too early to start saving for their college tuition. That said, it’s important to prioritize preparing for your own retirement first. Remember, your child could have scholarships and loans to help with college expenses. The same options are not available for
your retirement. Consider creating a plan that will help you make meaningful progress toward both goals.
Challenge #4 – Coping with major life changes No matter how carefully you plan your life, you will experience occasional curveballs. For example, divorce can create a situation where income that formerly supported one household must now be split between two. The death of a spouse can have a dramatic financial impact on the future income of your family. Other unanticipated events can also have finan- cial considerations.
‘Stitch It Up’ Shop Mixes Business And Fun
Corky Deroeck
Kristal Soper
Phone: 906-786-2021 ext. 115 | Fax: 906-786-3752
Upper Peninsula Business Today, is published monthly by the
Daily Press, 600 Ludington Street, Escanaba Michigan 49829. Periodical Postage paid at Escanaba, Michigan 49829, publication No. 022165. “Postmaster”
Send address changes to Upper Peninsula Business Today, PO Box 828, Escanaba Michigan 49829.
May 2018 • Vol. 28 • Number 5
IRON MOUNTAIN — Sure, being an accountant and tax preparer will provide a steady income.
But the results of your work don’t look as good put up on the wall or across a bed as a hand- made quilt.
Which is why Robin Rasmussen decided in November 2016 to follow her passion for sewing by opening Stitch It Up shop at 332 S. Stephen- son Ave. in Iron Mountain
“I really enjoyed doing accounting,” she said, “but this is more fun.”
Stitch It Up carries Brother Innovis sewing machines and Sebo vacuum cleaners. They are the only Sebo dealer in the Upper Peninsula, she said.
Rasmussen’s shop also offers a wide array of fabrics and notions, such as rolling totes, bags, pre-cut fabric kits, embroidery threads, blanks, blank towels and stabilizers, scissors, needles, starches, pro smart irons, cutting mats and supe- rior heavy-duty thread stands.
They also provide quilting and embroidery classes and sewing machine repair.
Classes take place in the shop all year long, with “Nine-Patch Madness” and “Block of the Month” now in session. The latter class is a year- long commitment, as they make a new block each month and sew them together and quilt
them at the end of the year. The pattern Card Trick is coming in May.
“We have an embroidery club that meets and a free-motion club that meets; we have a nice group of ladies that come together for that,” she said. “We have lots of fun and exciting things that are happening here.”
Rasmussen formerly operated Glaze-Paint Your Own Pottery Studio in the space next to Grayson & Co. Jewelers, a business owned by her daughter, Katie Schultz. She and husband Jeff Rasmussen have two other children, Mark and Mike Rasmussen.
“My daughter was moving to the mall with her jewelry store and I thought it was an opportunity to open up the sewing machine store,” Ras- mussen said.
While she started out running both the pot- tery studio and the sewing machine shop, she eventually decided to close Glaze because it was seasonal.
“Stitch It Up was growing and growing and growing and I really needed the space for class- room, fabric and supplies,” she said, adding, “It’s been phenomenal.”
Theresa Proudfit can be reached at 906-774- 2772, ext. 45, or tproudfit@ironmountaindai-
Women often face unique challenges when it comes to
managing their finances

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