Monday, January 3, 2000

retirement to be
focus of workshop

Investing and planning are
among the issues that will be
discussed in the isle seminar

By Susan Kreifels


Some women may think it takes a lot of money to start a retirement plan but that's not so, the Hawaii Women's Business Center says.

Simply investing the amount it takes to buy a cup of coffee everyday, at 8 percent interest, could add up to $27,000 in 20 years -- the start of a retirement plan.

And with women making up 60 percent of the elderly poor in Hawaii, many should consider making the investment.

"Women are in denial," said Laura Crites, executive director of Hawaii Women's Business Center. "We are trying to break through that denial. It's important to understand they can make a difference by starting with small amounts of money and doing it now."

The center is hosting a luncheon with First Lady Vicky Cayetano at Washington Place on Jan. 10 to focus on "Women in retirement: A looming crisis." The cost is $60 per person. The event will launch a series of workshops on retirement planning for women that will be held throughout the state.

Management specialist Frances Hesselbein will be the guest speaker. Hesselbein, the former chief executive of the Girl Scouts of the USA, is the chairwoman of the Peter Drucker Foundation and a 1999 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sponsors hope to create greater awareness among women and educate them about the need for retirement planning. They say the majority of women in the workplace do not have an IRA or pension plan and will not have enough savings to carry them through retirement years.

"A lot of people are available to support you," Crites said. "Almost everybody can set aside 10 percent of their income to invest for retirement and avoid a crisis.

"The most important decision is deciding nobody else will take responsibility for you. You must take responsibility for yourself."

Crites said women's average full-time salary in Hawaii equals $22,801, compared with men here, who make $35,419. That's also lower than the nationwide average for women at $23,392.

For more information on the luncheon, call 522-8140.

The deadline for reservations is Friday.

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