It Takes Two to Invest Well

Men and women make a great team, enhancing each other\'s strengths and compensating for weaknesses.

The financial challenges women face really do differ from those of men. That's because women tend to live longer and to have more-checkered work histories than men, moving in and out of the paid labor force more frequently. Even women who work full-time average fewer years of work experience than men, so they build up less seniority and their retirement savings lag.

If they stay at home to rear children, women often face a special kind of financial dependency. That's not always unwelcome, but it can work to their disadvantage and may be unsettling -- especially when you consider that about 40% of first marriages end in divorce and that the average age of widowhood among women in first marriages is 58. That means that after years of intertwining their financial lives with parents, spouses, children -- and parents again -- they often face the prospect of years on their own.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.