Among the things your mother never told you: women pay higher insurance premiums than men; annuities, once considered a widow's best protection, are a shuck; ""fringe benefits"" tendered to sweeten a meager paycheck may be another. Though both sexes are systematically screwed, women definitely get the worst of it. The reason? Chiefly because of their stop-start work patterns. The lack of ""vesting,"" as Ahem and Bliss explain, is the key corporate ploy: if you work less than a fixed number of years (5, 10, or 15), some or all of the money you pay into the pension fund will simply revert to the company. The authors counsel protecting yourself against the ""protectors"" by getting yourself ""hooked"" on progressive accumulation. To this end, they explain the Keogh Plan (for the self-employed) and the 1974 individual Retirement Act (IRA) under which a woman's money remains her own regardless of job changes, divorce, widowhood, or remarriage--all of which can alter her economic position. The book performs a clear service in helping women, whether housewives or professionals, understand the ""mechanics"" of money. But a caveat: many women struggling to keep afloat will find the authors' Ten-Year Goal Plan--put aside 52Â¢ an hour, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for a total of $125 a month--a pipedream. In sum, a good guide to financial planning for those who have something to plan with.