When it comes to retirement planning, however, women are on uneven savings ground. To better position yourself for retirement success, it’s important to understand the unique challenges women face.
- Women Generally Live Longer Than Men but Earn Less
According to a 2019 study by the National Center for Health Statistics, the average life expectancy is 76.1 years for men and 81.1 years for women. How does that affect retirement planning? The longer a person lives, the longer their retirement nest egg needs to last. Add in the uncertainty of social security benefits and health care, and it’s clear women need to plan differently than men. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women earn an average of 80.7 cents for each dollar men earn, which can cause them to save less for retirement over time and can even affect their social security and pension benefits.
Tip: Start saving as soon as possible. Invest in your retirement plan early and increase your deferral percentage each year. Worried you didn’t start early enough? It’s never too late to get started!
- Women Tend to Look at Investing Differently
According to recent research, women tend to make more conservative investment decisions than men. Although this may be explained by the relative inequity in wages, conservative investing (which may be entirely appropriate based on an investor’s unique goals and risk tolerance) can hinder the ability to realize maximum growth in an account.
Tip: Educate yourself to better understand the benefits of long-term investing. Target-date funds (a preset blend of investments that automatically shifts from aggressive to conservative over time as an investor nears retirement) may be a useful tool for getting started.
- Difficulty in Talking About Money
Retirement planning and finances can be uncomfortable topics of conversation. Many women consider them too personal; others may be intimidated by the subject matter. It can be especially difficult for women if they aren’t the family’s primary earner or don’t handle the household finances. One survey found 61% of women would rather discuss the details of their own death than their money.
Tip: Working with a financial advisor can help you create a financial plan that is tailored to your needs and goals. In fact, 70% of people who work with a financial advisor are on track or ahead in saving for retirement, compared with just 33% who don’t work with an advisor.
Retirement planning can be intimidating—especially for women. Together we can come up with a plan that is designed for your needs and specific goals. Click here to view my calendar and schedule a time that is convenient for you.