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THE FACTS OF LIFE - What Every Woman Should Know About Money

By Craig Lock


These days there is no need for any woman to spend the second half of her life with a lower standard of living. Yet many still do. This is because they continually defer the decision to do something about preparing for their financial future until it is too late.

Walkman Bean, Fly Pentop, Aqueon, Stresseraser, Zen Vision
The Smart Buy

Are you the kind of guy keeps buying the same blue shirt again and again? Learn how to broaden your look without compromising your style

My dad owns six pairs of black lace-ups. Granted, they're all very nice black lace-ups- Ferragamo and Santoni constitute the bulk of his collection. But it makes me wonder. This is a man who, for the first five years of running his own business, wore a smart suit and tie to the office every day because he liked the look, even though he was the only one actually in the office. On a visit to New York last summer, he finally realized that he might have a problem. While strolling around the men's-shoe department at Bergdorf Goodman, he nearly closed the deal on a seventh pair of black lace-ups, ones made by Gucci. That is, until he couldn't remember whether or not he already owned them.

American Express Platinum Card: The card can be a waste of money, or it can save you thousands
The card can be a waste of money, or it can save you thousands, but you need to compare your travel habits with what it offers. Some of its two dozen different benefits are mere padding; a few are available to anyone who carries an American Express green or gold card. Others are offered by other companies' cards—such as Diners Club or Visa Gold—or through other, less expensive avenues. Says one insider who works for AmEx, "There's almost nothing the Platinum Card can do that a very good travel agent can't do for you."

Taxes and Purchasing Power

Most of the surveys of family incomes and expenditures take account of personal taxes. Those taxes are deducted because they reduce the amount of income the recipient, as an individual, is free to use as he sees fit. The Federal income tax and State and local income or payroll taxes, are, of course, direct personal taxes reflected in the "income after taxes" concept but only partially in "net spendable earnings."

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