Joan Smith didn't like the figures she was seeing.
Women ages 65 and older earn a median income of $6,425, widows slightly more, statistics from Soroptimist International of the Americas showed. In addition, more than 3.2 million women between ages 45 and 64 lack anytype of health insurance coverage.
Smith, who started the Glen Burnie brokerage firm of Eagle Equities Inc. 12 years ago, resolved to do something about that. She and Assistant Vice President Hilda Hambruch have spent more than a year getting the Women's Financial Information Program started in Maryland.
FOR THE RECORD - Also, an article in the Seniors section, "Women to learn more about how to handle money" should have identified Hilda Hambruch as a branch manager of Wyman Park Federal Savings & Loan Association.
The Anne Arundel County Sun regrets the errors.
The money management series is slated for seven consecutive Saturdays beginning Feb. 2. Each workshop covers a different financial matter and is designed to help participants make financial decisions. Topics include banking and credit, women and investments, designing a personal cash flow system, women andinsurance and legal matters.
Co-sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, Soroptimist International Anne Arundel (SIAA) and Women's Initiative/Consumer Affairs, the workshops are aimed atwomen, specifically older women. Men also are invited.
Each session will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Pascal Senior Center, 125 Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie. They begin with an hour of advice from an expert speaker and will be followed by a breakdown of the participants into small groups, whose leaders were trained by Smith and Hambruch last week.
Hambruch, vice president of SIAA, promotes the workshop as "learn as we go along-type sessions."
Hambruch and her fellow project coordinator, SIAA Treasurer Smith, said the workshop is designed to enable women to make their own financial decisions.
Workbooks will help participants learn more about their finances. Informationabout stating goals, making a household inventory, finding a real estate agent and selling one's own house are included.
In addition, homework is assigned.
"Although it is not something to be turned in, the women are sent home to find out what's in their safety depositbox or what kind of insurance their husbands have," said Smith. "A large part of our practice is made up of middle-aged widows. Their husbands have handled all the affairs, and they are feeling inadequate. Their mothers taught them to cook and sew, but not to handle financial affairs."
Kathy Lascola, an agent with the Maryland Insurance Group, is one of the series' 10 scheduled speakers. She will discuss the many aspects of insurance, including how to save money and what oneneeds for protection when purchasing auto insurance.
"A formula is needed," said Lascola. "It's as bad to be over-insured as underinsured."
Protection provided by health care and homeowners' insurancealso will be discussed by Lascola. "The more knowledge anyone has, the better," Lascola said.
The series' fifth speaker, attorney MarkPotter, will discuss estate planning. He said people who come to hisoffice to discuss wills often don't understand the probate process.
Many people, he said, do not know that life insurance and joint bank accounts go directly to the beneficiary after death.
Potter will help the group determine if their affairs are in order and explain how assets are treated after a person's death.
"Many older people are really concerned about what is going to happen to their money when they die," he said. "They want to know if the state is going to take their money if they don't have a will."
Other supporting organizations and agencies sponsoring the workshop are the Arundel Hospice, Naval Fleet Reserve Auxiliary, Pascal Center, American Legion Post 40Auxiliary, Glen Burnie Jaycees and Northern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce.
Advance registration for the Money Management Lecture/Workshop series is required. A $15 donation is requested.
For information, call Joan Smith at 760-6098, Hilda Hambruch at 766-0400 or thePascal Center at 222-6680.
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