12 Things Women Should Do To Prepare For Retirement

Women live longer than men and don’t participate in the workforce as consistently, which puts them in a tougher position when it comes to living off of retirement funds. But after reading through this list of 12 things women can do to protect themselves from financial ruin in their final days, we’ve decided that old ladies are just goths with even crazier makeup and clothes. It starts off with the basics—”start your own retirement account,” “invest in stocks,” “put your retirement savings before your kids tuition bills”—but then takes a turn for the morbid and becomes all about death, divorce, and more death. Here are the gloomiest tips—enjoy!

8. Elect a survivor’s benefit. Depending on your situation (e.g., whether or not you expect to outlive your husband, and whether you have a pension of your own or other assets), it may make sense to take a reduced pension in exchange for continuing payments after your husband’s death.

9. Become a primary beneficiary. “Beneficiaries on retirement documents always take precedence over individuals named in a will.”

10. For Divorcees: Negotiate for your ex’s retirement assets. “You aren’t automatically entitled to a share of your husband’s plan, so make sure it’s on the table when you negotiate a settlement.”

11. For Divorcees: Review your ex-husband’s social security benefit. If you were married at least 10 years, have been divorced for at least 2, haven’t remarried, and you and your ex are both at least 62 years old, you can collect 50% of his benefit checks.

12. Claim widow’s benefits from Social Security “As a widow, you can generally receive the greater of your husband’s Social Security benefits or your own.”

“12 Retirement Strategies for Women” [Kiplinger]
(Image: Siouxsie Sioux)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ratnerstar says:

    13. Marry rich.

  2. DrGirlfriend says:


  3. Hay it’s Siouxsie!

  4. esqdork says:

    I’m trying to fathom what’s Siouxsie Sioux’s connection with retirement.

  5. She’s getting very close to retirement age, at least by U.S. standards. Also, I couldn’t find a copyright-free photo of an old person wearing Goth makeup, and she was the best alternative I could think of.

  6. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    I guess she didn’t die in her 20’s like so many musicians. So on one hand you got Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix… and then on the other hand you’ve got the Stones, U2, and apparently Siouxsie Sioux.

    And wouldn’t we all rather see a photo of her than of Keith Richards?

  7. UpsetPanda says:

    @Chris Walters: Also, Debbie Harry. She’s 62.

  8. cryrevolution says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: Yeah, she still makes great music too.

  9. BigNutty says:

    This is why my wife of 38 years has always kept her own name, her own bank accounts, her own investments and everything else separate from me. It works out good for me too, I don’t have to worry about giving her any money.

    Uh oh, I better check that I’m sill the beneficiary of all her assets.

  10. faust1200 says:

    Man I love Siouxsie. I used to be a serious Siouxsiephile. I saw her 3 times in the 90’s. And uh to stay on topic yeah uhh financial something and fiscal responsibility I definitely think… Yay Siouxsie on the Consumerist!

  11. GothamGal says:

    Marry someone 15 years your junior.

  12. Snakeophelia says:

    So as someone who was goth for a long time (really, you should only capitalize it if you’re talking about the historical type), and is now a rapidly-aging woman, I have to say, I have all the morbid stuff down pat. I have the will, the life insurance, the medical power of attorney, all that jazz. No coffin or boneyard for me, though – if I die young(-ish) I’ll be leaving enough money for my parents or husband to handle the arrangments; if I outlive them all (a distinct possibility), I want my body donated to science. I love the idea of a nervous medical student carving me up.

  13. themanishere says:

    bitch better have my money. oh wait, i’m dead…

  14. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Even if in jest, you bring up an interesting point. Some states automatically make the spouse the beneficiary of assets. When I lived in Louisiana, married people who wanted to designate a beneficiary other than the spouse had to have the spouse sign a form waiving that beneficiary status.

  15. @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: I had to do that here in Illlinois.

  16. Instigator says:

    I’ve always considered old people in general as punks turned inside-out. They don’t care what others think about them, and are given to making rude, anti-social statements. And when they say they have no future, they really mean it!

  17. Bye says:

    Siouxsie’s first-ever solo album, Mantaray, ROCKS.

    It’s a good retirement plan for her in light of her recent divorce from Budgie.

  18. axiomatic says:


    Man they were awesome back in the day. I’m a little unimpressed with her lately though as in her old age she’s turning in to a real pompous ass.

  19. LVP says:

    14: Get your own lawyer, accountant, & prenuptial/postnuptial lawyer.

    15: Make sure you are the beneficiary of your husbands policies and investments and not his ex-wife.