I know it is the middle of an excruciating summer in terms of the heat and  political conflict, so I am offering a diversion – a useful distraction.  Try to wrap your head around some numbers and financial  concepts that are important to making your money last through retirement.  I realize one of my least populated categories on this blog is the one for money issues. That is partly due to the fact that most such articles I find are attached to aggressive links for buying an annuity.

When I saw the headline that 80% of women between 60 and 75 failed a  knowledge test on financial matters related to retirement, I was defensive.  It is long-  38 questions, but they all relate to handling your money for your future.  The questions touch on social security, rates of return and a variety of  investment quandaries.  If women live longer and live longer on their own, they need to step up for themselves and not shy away from these complexities.

I think the aversion to dealing with financial matters goes way back to the old stereotype that girls do not do well in Math. Women are also supposedly less risk adverse when it comes investments.  I remember someone saying to me when I got my very decent Math SAT score, “not bad for a girl.”  Younger generations have been reversing that misconception. For our generation we may still be carrying that baggage of being told what we are not good at.

How much to save, when to take your social security…there is a lot of detail in this test.  It is helpful if you have some money, a lot of money or unfortunately no savings at all.  The best feature are the corrections you receive with your final score. They give you the rationals for all the answers. You may want to allow at least 30 minutes to contemplate all it has to offer.

So here is your mini summer retirement money course:


I managed to pass the quiz, but not as well as I would have liked. I plan to take it again to brush up on what I did not fully understand.   The money you save and protect is a big part of maintaining your independence as you age.  Yes, it is great if you have a trusted financial advisor for investments,  but you need to step back and see the bigger picture for yourself.

COMPLETE ARTICLE: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/savingandinvesting/80-percent-of-older-women-cant-pass-this-money-quiz/ar-AAoLxu7?ocid=se