I got some awesome news today. I was expecting to receive a monthly pension of about $73/month (lifetime annuity) from my time at a major motion picture studio . As it turns out , it will be $373/month! What a godsend!
Receiving it is still nearly a year away, as is Medicare, but I’m very excited to know it’s three hundred more per month than I anticipated. It will certainly make my retirement years less precarious.
If I wait until full retirement age (just under two years)–which I plan to do unless circumstances intervene to make waiting impossible–I’ll be getting $1,371/month from Social Security. That plus $373/month is almost $1,750/month…and Washington State doesn’t tax Social Security or pension payments. WOO HOO!
Truth is, I will probably keep working past full retirement age. (Why would I stop doing what I love because of a date on a calendar–especially since it took me 56 years to get into the career I’ve always wanted–writing for a living?) If I’m making enough without these retirement perks to wait until later to retire (say, age 70), my monthly Social Security payment will be $1,810/month. Add $373 to that and I’ll have about $550/week to live on. Not a lot, but a heckuva lot better than I was expecting!
Women make less than men do (seventy seven cents for every dollar men make in the same job, on average). Women live several years longer than men in general. I’ve always thought it unjust–if not downright criminal–to pay women less than men since we live longer. Add to that the fact that a lot of women (single and married) also come home (for almost two decades) after a day of work to tend to children who need help with homework, dinners, baths and other necessities, so they never do get much down time. All of the home chores are unpaid but mandatory.
It just seems unfair that women don’t get at least the same pay as men for the work they do outside the home. At the very least, equal pay for equal work (and let’s face it, on average, women are usually more productive in the workplace than their male counterparts, I’ve noticed, because we were taught and expected to produce tangible results on the home front and out and about from very early ages!)
I love the meme that’s going around that shows an African woman hard at work carrying water and branches to her home from miles away. The caption: “If hard work were all that’s required to get rich, every woman in Africa would be a multimillionaire.” So would a lot of women in every other country. The deck is stacked against women in every patriarchal system on the planet. But I hope not for much longer.
I probably won’t live to see the day when my Social Security and pension will be adjusted upward to compensate for the years I worked and earned less than men, but I hope Jackie’s granddaughters do … OR that they’ll be paid the same as men from the get-go when they enter the work force in just a few years. I know a law is in place to mandate equal pay for equal work, but since divulging one’s income is frowned upon in corporate settings, who the heck knows if it’s happening?
Transparency would be a good thing… (Good luck with that!)
OK. I’ll get off my soapbox now.