How I Am Striving to #OwnMyFuture and Make Our Retirement Beach Cottage More Than a Dream

Since turning 50 in February, I have been thinking about our family finances and our future more so than I did over the past 20 years. When I became a stay-at-home mom 14 years ago, when I was pregnant with my youngest son, there was always “someday” in the future where I would eventually rejoin the workforce doing something that I love.

Years went by, things happened, and here we are, 14 years later, and I’m still a stay-at-home who has learned how to work from home to help supplement some of the family income by taking care of school expenses as well as our monthly household items and prescriptions that need to be purchased for the family. It’s enough – for right now – but what about our future?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Prudential.

I remember being a newlywed at age 19, and a new mother at age 21, the most important thing on my mind at the time was making sure that I had a life insurance policy that would take care of my daughter should anything happen to me. My mother had suffered a massive heart attack and was on the transplant list for a new heart. I was determined that my child wouldn’t face the uncertainty that my siblings and I faced.

44% of women have no life insurance, and even the ones that do own life insurance, most are underinsured.1 I had a $50,000 term life policy that I paid about $25 a month for at the time. Unfortunately, life happened, my husband and I separated and divorced, and I was suddenly a single mom with no place to live and no transportation to get back and forth to work. The life insurance plan was canceled and more pressing day-to-day needs were taken care of. 30 years later, and I still have not gotten around to purchasing another life insurance policy, which puts me in that 44% of women without.

When was the last time that you and your girlfriends sat down and talked about finances? How many of you are like me – and don’t care for the financial services jargon because it’s confusing – and you feel as though you don’t have the time to talk to a financial advisor or that you don’t have the disposable income to invest in stocks or a portfolio for your retirement? Are you living paycheck to paycheck like most families?

Take a listen as Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney talk about money and see how these challenges affect women today.

You are not alone. Even these two amazing women who take care of the day-to-day budgeting leave out some important pieces of long-term financial planning such as insurance and saving for retirement. We are here to show you how to #OwnMyFuture and get you started on a path of financial freedom.

Through my work with Prudential, I’ve been learning about some additional unique financial challenges women face. We outlive men by an average of 5-6 years, did you know that?2  

I’ve always known that women working full-time earn only 79% of the income earned by their male counterparts3 which doesn’t seem fair considering we also spend 28 hours a week on household chores – 65% more than the average for men.4  

That does not even consider the amount of time we spend carpooling, preparing meals, helping children with homework, picking up the dry cleaning and taking kids for dental checkups and doctor appointments.

Many years ago, I saw how my mother’s death affected my father. My mother handled all the family finances – dad literally just brought home the paycheck and handed it over to her. When she passed, dad was at a complete loss as to who they owed, what retirement funds they had, he didn’t even know where all the banking accounts were. The only banking account he knew of was the one he’d had since he was a teenager working on the farm with his parents.

The only bright spot in my mother’s passing was that she had set the mortgage up on our home so that if something happened to her or my father, the mortgage would be paid in full. She planned to make sure that if anything happened to either of them, the surviving spouse would not lose the home we worked so hard to build as a family, and she ensured that my brother and sister and I would always have a home to come back to.

beach cottage, retirement, prudential

Planning for Retirement

That’s our dream right there, a little cottage on the beach where my husband and I can retire. I can spend my days puttering around the cottage doing all the DIY projects I’ve pinned on Pinterest, and he can spend his days out on the pier fishing to his heart’s content. We currently rent an apartment, but it is our dream to have this little cottage on the beach to pass along to our children to enjoy with their families one day.

Unfortunately, the only retirement that we have now is our social security that we will receive. It is literally going to be half of what we have coming in right now. The 401K plans that my husband and I had earlier in our careers were cashed in during emergency situations when there were no other viable options to keep the family afloat. Trying to survive on that small amount is not going to be easy, which is why I am thrilled that Prudential is working to help women educate themselves about these issues, but is also empowering us with financial solutions that are available for us to make the right decisions for ourselves as well as our families.

Prudential is here to help me #OwnMyFuture and together, we are going to make that retirement beach cottage a reality and not just a dream.

Don’t let the long-term financial planning slip through your fingertips like it did for me. Click here to learn more from Prudential and connect with a Prudential advisor today to help make your financial future secure.


  1. LIMRA study, Life Insurance Ownership in Focus, U.S. Person-Level Trends: 2016.
  2. Prudential Retirement Analysis; National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD. 2016
  3. S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables Table P-40: Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s Earnings by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016.
  4. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016.
2020 Kimberly Signature

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  1. What a great posting! I think a lot of people are only going to have Social Security to live on when they retire. I love the sound of #OwnMyFuture. Thank you for sharing.

    • It is a scary proposition – having to rely on simply your social security income – to consider when thinking of your retirement. Unfortunately, life has a way of sneaking up on you and before you know it, you’ve reached senior citizen status and retirement is just right around the corner. I know I wish that I had had several “reminders” along the way so I could have started earlier to manage my retirement finances – but I’m determined to make our retirement dream come true!

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