New research finds over the next decade women will increasingly be the financial decision-makers for businesses. But their power depends in part on their age group.
Carmen Wong Ulrich, personal finance expert and author of "The Real Cost of Living," notes that while 2020 may seem like a long time away, it's really not too far ahead.
A future financial services report by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quicken, shows on both ends of the age spectrum, women are going to be "real powerhouses" when it comes to finances - making money and managing money, specifically women 65 and over, who are going to be part of the un-retired.
She also points out that by 2020, one in six people in the U.S. are going to be over 65; therefore, 60 percent of those are going to be women.
"They're the big drivers of micro-business. Now micro-businesses have employees of less than five. (There are) 26 million micro-businesses today. Women are going to drive those micro-businesses to 33 million by 2020, and seniors are going to be a big part of that," she tells "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill. "Millennials...have higher educational levels; they graduate from college more, graduate school more. So they are going to be earning the same or more money than their male counterparts."
There has always been this persistent gap in wages between men and women in this country, Hill pointed out. So are women going to catch up?
"They are going to, especially millennials," Wong Ulrich added.
Looking ahead, there is going to be more money and women in charge of more money, obviously we need to plan for that, Hill says. So for those who are closer to retirement, age 55 and over, who, in 2012, will be 65 and over what do they need to be aware of?
According to Wong Ulrich, if you're a woman and you plan on being part of this un-retired group, now you've got some years.
"You've got about nine years and you've got to look at what your retirement plans are now. Because if you're going to earn money in retirement that's going to affect how you're going to manage your money in retirement," she notes. "It's great if you're going to earn money in retirement because basically you're not going to outlive your money, which is a good thing, but it's going to change your tax implications, your withdrawal strategy.
There is another option as well. "You also can postpone collecting your social security and this is important because if you wait until you're 70, you can collect your full Social Security. But if you're going to start taking it at 65, then go back to work, there's some tax implications there and thresholds you may have to pay taxes and refund and reduce Social Security what you get from there."
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She continued, "Younger women in their 20s tend to not think about money. We don't think about money until you get married, or you're going to have a child. It's these life changes that get us starting to think serious about money. Don't wait for that to happen. By 2020, women are going to postpone those things for a long time. Closer and closer to age 30, but that's too late."
"You're losing a lot of time," she adds. "So by another 10 years that age is going to really go up. Pay attention to your money as early as you can and have a financial plan. And there's one thing that (younger generations) cannot count on that those over 65 can count on -- Social Security."
"So it's even more important that you pay attention and get started, because, if you just wait five years, for example, if you wait until you're 30 to start saving for retirement as opposed to 25, let's say you put away $250 a month at seven percent, eight percent earnings, you will lose out in those five years $300,000 by the age of 65. That's five grand a month in retirement," she adds.
Lastly, if you already have children, is it always more important to save for your retirement than it is for your kids' college education?
"Absolutely," Wong Ulrich says. "So when you are caught between saving for college education and aging parents and you're in your 30s or 40s, take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of others."