Women Over 50: Your Professional Checklist

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Many women over 50 feel insecure about their retirement picture. Is there enough money to live comfortably? Is it time for retirement — or just a change of careers?

A woman may indeed have a riskier financial picture as she ages. “Women typically have worked fewer years than men, and for lower wages,” says Jean Setzfand, director of financial security at the AARP. “Yet they tend to outlive their spouses — and will likely have greater health care costs as they age. That means their income will drop at an even greater rate as they get older.”

And some women over 50 may find themselves dissatisfied with jobs or careers they’ve devoted decades to developing, says Cynthia Barnett, EdD, a retirement lifestyle specialist based in Norwalk, CT. “At mid-life, you begin thinking ‘what’s my purpose in life.’ This starts a whole cycle of self-reflection, a search for work you love to do,” she tells WebMD.

Women Over 50: Boosting Your Financial and Professional Power

Are you ready to give your career and finances a boost? This to-do list will get you started:

___Learn about finances. Educate yourself about retirement planning, your options, and your financial picture. Stay up-to-date on Social Security and dreams will bring satisfaction.

___Find a life coach. This is not a therapist or a . It’s someone who will listen to your dreams, help you talk through the possibilities, and guide you on your path. While one-on-one counseling can be expensive, life coaches often hold weekly group sessions that are affordable. Barnett meets weekly via telephone with several women — living in California, Oregon, and Florida — in a group session.

“The purpose is to learn to live your life so that the by-product is happiness,” she tells WebMD. “That doesn’t mean just smiling all the time. It means utilizing your strengths, practicing gratitude, taking time for self-reflection. It also involves very simple habits that are very important — that help you go out into the world, help you be who you are.”

Being who you are — or want to be — is vital not just for women over 50 but for everyone, at any stage of life.