As women, we need to recognize that we have different life journeys and financial challenges than men. Women typically are the caretakers, have more career breaks and have a longer life expectancy rate. “Research shows that 39% of women took a significant amount of time off work to care for loved ones compared to 24% of men” (Pew Research, 2019). Knowing this, how can women become more prepared for their retirement?
1. Develop a total financial strategy. What pieces will make up your retirement? How much income will you need?
2. Decide on your goals and what you think you will need to retire. Your income will include two types of expenses: required and desired. Required expenses are predictable and consistent, while desired expenses are random and flexible.
3. Plan for a Longer Retirement. Women typically outlive men by 4.9 years. How long do you want to work? Are you going to have a second career or part-time job after you retire? Make sure you contribute to your retirement plan at your current job to better prepare for your future.
4. Stay in the Loop. Sit down with your spouse or partner on a regular basis and review your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, monthly bills and loans.
5. Invest in YOU! Take care of yourself through diet and exercise. Find ways to relax and de-stress.
Be sure to meet with your financial advisor on a yearly basis to review your financial strategy, goals and retirement requirements. Check out our “Financial Strategies for Women: What to Ask Your Advisor” checklist to help you prepare for your meeting.
*Both charts from “Women & Investing: Invest in Yourself” by John Hancock.