Morbid thoughts on a rainy day

When you're snuggled up under the covers on a cold, rainy day, and the kids are all downstairs having breakfast with daddy, the last thing you want to do with your 30 minutes of peace is to be thinking about death. But I was watching Bonnie Erbe's To The Contrary on PBS, and the topic was Asian-American women and retirement.

I always knew that women live longer than men in general, and that Asians have relatively long lifespans, but I guess I never really put the two together -- Asian American women's lifespan is about 86 years, 5 years longer than for white females, and almost 10 years longer than for African Americans. Nor have I really thought about out how I'm going to afford all those extra years of life (apparently 28% of retired Asian Americans rely solely on Social Security for income).

The segment was a good wake-up call because at the rate I'm going, my retirement savings will be firmly entrenched in the 5-digits for years to come. Not that Alfie is in a much better position -- both of our 401k accounts have been decimated by the stock market crash, money has been tight and his 401k contribution is only enough to match whatever his company gives as a benefit. But still, every little bit helps. Alfie has his 401k contributions, we put away a little bit each month for the kids' college funds -- but what about me? What's a stay-at-home mom to do? I know about spousal IRA's, but are there any other options? Hey Bonnie, there's a topic for your next show......


Anonymous said...

Here's what I would do: Chill out!
A lot of people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about not making it to old age - because most of them won't! If somebody told me my genes are good for 100 years I'd be popping the bubbly and celebrating my good fortune, not wallowing in despair. Cheer up, it's not just about money.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you from experience, don't worry too much about money. Being young parents we weren't in a position to save money, however, we have one daughter graduating college, and one who's a freshman in college. Things worked itself out. Enjoy Life- You're fondest memories will not be about the money you had while the kids were little.

Rachel Ferrucci