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Leadership Training: Investing for Women

More than a year ago, I learned for OPM that women were not saving enough through their TSP accounts and when they were saving enough, women were not investing aggressively enough to stave off inflation.

To assist women, WIFLE added Investing for Women to our Leadership Training.  Last year, while serving as a mentor at an IACP class, I learned the average age of widowhood was about 56/57 years of age.

I was shocked.  I thought that had to be wrong.  That figure is correct.  Further research shows 14 is the average number of years women are widows.  Think of the impact that will have on your finances.  Another retirement article I was reading stated that 80percent of all men die married and 80 percent of all women die single.  I do not remember anybody talking about that during my retirement seminar.  The subject was left at survivor benefits and not what that means.  For women, federal survivor benefits assume women are married to another federal employee.

If a woman becomes a widow, I originally thought most could reconfigure their lifestyle to compensate for the loss of income for four or five years. However, the prospect of 14 years means either delaying retirement or moving to the private sector.  That creates a question: Do you stay for as long as you can to increase your own retirement income or do jump out of federal service as soon as you are eligible and move to a second career?  Each plan has its benefits.  It all depends on the individual’s personal family situation and the position they hold. For law enforcement positions, even staying to mandatory retirement may be insufficient to offset a loss of needed income.  In addition, if 80 percent of us will be single when we die, who and how will we be cared for? Will you depend on children?  Would your children be capable of caring for you?   On the other hand, do women, more than men, require more information and a different decision tree about long term care insurance?

Research shows that women make less money over their lifetime–even those who have high paying professional jobs. Maternity leave, childcare, and even elder care can all have long-term effects on income.  Research also shows that women often put the needs of others before their own. This includes saving less for retirement if it means providing something for their family or postponing competing for promotion. However, these issues do not just apply to women anymore. Gentlemen, have you delayed competing for a career opportunity because the timing is not right. Those decisions also have long-term implications for your future.

To help you answer these questions and more, WIFLE is bringing a separate retirement track running concurrently to our annual leadership training. It begins on the afternoon of June 9, 2015, and concludes at noon on June 11, 2015 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. Classes will range from FERS, TSP, Investing, and Social Security/Medicare, to Long Term Care issues, creating a resume for the private sector, transitions from the public sector to the private sector, the importance of certifications, types of employment, and negotiating salaries and benefits. We are also working with a few of our sponsors and other companies to recruit. Since this training is at the attendee’s personal expense, we designed it so you can attend the sessions you want, and also have time to enjoy what Tampa has to offer. This program is to help you address and create a framework for your future. 

We work hard, we invest ourselves in our missions and our families. However, women tend not to invest in themselves. This is one of those areas that a little change made in advance can make your future more secure. The registration fee is $175 and includes the ability to bring a companion. This is open to everyone. Men as well as women are welcomed and there is no age or service requirement. It does not matter if you are retired or ten years from retirement. Bring a friend or even the family and have a short vacation.

Come talk with people who have been there and done things right and done things wrong. Listen to people who can give you pointers. Listen to company representatives who can tell you about their company vision. Many are looking for women to add diversity to their workforces. For more information, go to our website at


Women in Federal Law Enforcement Inc. ( is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization chartered in June 1999 as an outgrowth of an interagency committee sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury. The WIFLE Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, was incorporated in March 2006. Both organizations work to promote the value that women bring to the law enforcement profession and address the reasons why women remain underrepresented in sworn law enforcement positions.

The WIFLE organizations advocate the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in federal law enforcement occupations as a means to enhance the efficacy of law enforcement operations.

Posted in Hear it from WIFLE



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