My story

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BY JULIA ANDERSON
At age 60, I found myself suddenly single--- on my own financially and emotionally with only a few years left until retirement. It was a difficult time.

I had a full-time job at a daily newspaper where I had worked for more than 20 years as a business news reporter, editor and columnist. But I was dealing with emotional and financial trauma because of an unwanted late-in-life divorce. There were lots of sleepless nights as I worried about what to do, and worse, what would happen to me?

Several months into the thing, on a dark (and yes, stormy) night in January with cold rain coming down outside, I had a talk with myself. "You've got to embrace the life you have been given," I told myself, "or life is not going to be very rewarding." I refused to let bitterness poison my heart or cloud my brain.

The next morning I arose with renewed purpose, looking ahead, not back at a past that I couldn't change. There have been emotional and financial ups and downs and it has required some discipline to hold on to that forward focus but  (drum roll, please) things have worked out.

As a business news editor with a weekly column, I began looking into the economic facts about women, money and retirement. Typical of many (if not most women) I had not spent much time thinking about my financial future. It never entered my mind that I would be on my own.

Yes I was stashing money into a 401(k) and saved in my own IRA. My retirement plans seemed rosy but just a tad fuzzy. I had other things to think about until the split.

What I learned through my research out about women heading into their retirement years was downright disturbing. I learned that women save little for the long-term... putting money instead into children and short-term needs. But in the end, many women find themselves grievously short of money to support themselves in their old age.

According to a Brandeis University study, half of single women over the age of 65 face the real crisis of outliving their financial resources. And women are much more likely than men to face their elder years alone. Only 57 percent of women age 65-74 are married, compared with 79 percent of men the same age.

I learned that many women find themselves, as I did --- 60 and single without a plan.

I began researching and writing. That spring, a friend of mine who happened to be a CPA and an estate-planning attorney and president of her professional organization, teamed up with me to host several free 60 and Single workshops for women. They" sold out" with more attendees than we had room.

I began writing this blog at sixtyandsingle.com, first at the newspaper, and now that I've semi-retired from my home office desk where I also continue to freelance.

In the past nine years, I retired from my full-time newspaper job, rolled over my 401(k) nest egg, signed up for Social Security and Medicare, remarried, helped my mother in her final years, settled her estate and gained confidence as an independent investor.

Ken and I met and six years ago, we married. Among my best read blog posts -- How to Marry after Age 60. Think pre-nups and joint accounts. Click here.

Now, I write the Smart Money column for the Portland Tribune and make regular contributions to www.sixtyandsingle.com. I am passionate about women's financial literacy issues and mention these topics once in a while on my weekly business news radio broadcast for KXL 101.1 FM in Portland, Ore.
 I occasionally host workshops on women and money.

This spring (2017), I have teamed up with veteran business news TV journalist, Joe Smith, to put together a series of taped shows for TVCTV public cable channel in Beaverton, Ore. We are just getting started. Very exciting

Oh, and I'm trying to put my blog posts into a book with the working title, "Life after 60: What women need to know about money, men and making the best of it."

I am a lucky woman. Every day I have the opportunity to learn, share and write about women, money, investing, retirement planning and meeting life's challenges -- single or married -- after age 60.

It's about building confidence and taking charge of our financial futures. I meet women all the time who face the transition and want to do it right.

I hope you will join me in spreading my message of hope and encouragement for women. It's your money, take charge of it. No one cares more than you do.   Thanks and good luck. - Julia