I’m Craig Erwin, an associate professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, where I have been teaching since 2001, when I was granted a Ph.D. by the University of Arizona. Earlier I earned an M.B.A. and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at the University of Minnesota. I am passionate about personal finance and especially about improving financial security for women. As a result, friends, colleagues, students, and relatives seek my advice.
I had never thought much about my interest in personal finance until a colleague told me, “Craig, you know more about money and investing than anyone I know.” That was many years ago, but comments like those helped inspire me to start this website to improve financial security for women. I thought that, if I was able to accumulate enough to retire in spite of all the mistakes I have made, then you should be able to do even better by avoiding some of the more costly mistakes I have made.
When I was young, I knew little about money and made plenty of stupid financial mistakes. When my father gave me a few shares of IBM stock as a high school graduation present, I told him that IBM stock was useless to me and asked him for cash instead. Big mistake. As an undergraduate, working part-time, I bought a brand-new car and an expensive stereo for my dorm room. Consequently, I ran out of money during my senior year of college. More mistakes. But fortunately, we learn some of the best lessons by making mistakes and observing others’ mistakes.
My father retired at 52, but not by choice. He was completely unprepared to retire, and my mother hadn’t worked outside the home since before I was born. To make matters worse, my youngest brother was still in college. Since then, I have watched my parents spend decades in retirement. Although my father was fortunate enough to have a pension (unlike almost everyone I know, including myself), my parents have not worked since my father retired and they have endured some lean years. I vowed that, when I retired, I would be much better prepared and financially secure.
Achieving financial security is a formidable challenge for women. Everything seems to be stacked against women; they face far more roadblocks than men. Researchers have discovered disturbing patterns, trends, and statistics about women, including the following:
Women are 80% more likely than men to live in poverty at age 65.
About 2/3 of minimum age workers are women.
At every age, women have lower average incomes than men, but the income gap is greatest in retirement.
The average woman is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, but, for Black and Latina women, it’s even worse. They only earn 64 and 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar made by a white man.
Women have only 32% of the wealth that men have.
Women’s retirement savings balances average about half the size of men’s.
For more information on the state of women in the U.S., visit the Institute For Women’s Policy Research at https://iwpr.org/.
The sobering facts listed above may discourage you, but they don’t have to spell doom for your retirement if you start preparing today. You can achieve financial security, but you likely need to make changes now.
I want to make financial security for women achievable. My goal is to empower you, so you can take the necessary steps to prepare for retirement and face the future confidently and fearlessly, knowing that you can and will retire on your own terms.
Please explore this website with an open mind, soaking up as much information as you can. It’s time to create a brighter financial future, one complete with a beautiful and comfortable retirement.
If you want more information, copy and past the web address below into your browser:
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