Retirement planning is an essential part of financial planning for anyone, regardless of gender. However, it’s especially critical for women, as they tend to have a longer lifespan and typically take breaks in their careers to be caretakers for their children. With careful planning and the right strategies, women can proactively plan for their retirement. Here’s where to start.
Create a plan and have conversations. The earlier you start planning for retirement, the better. The best way to accomplish this is to work with a financial advisor who can help create a financial plan that includes retirement strategies and plans for things like your estate and ensure you’re adequately protected through insurance policies. If you have a partner, ensure you are both on the same page regarding your retirement goals. The more comfortably you can talk about your future, the more confident you may be to make important decisions together when they come up.
Assess your current financial picture. Review your current income, expenses, debts and assets. This will give you a clear picture of your financial position and help you determine how much you need to save for retirement. It’s also critical to think about your future, who you are planning to spend it with, where you will live, and what your expenses will look like. It can be hard to think far into the future, but by planning and doing a little forecasting, you can efficiently work toward the goals you’ve set for yourself or your family.
Start investing early. A recent study says that 67% of women are now investing outside retirement, compared to 44% in 2018. If you start investing as soon as possible, you will have the benefit of compound interest, meaning the longer your money can grow – the more money you can accumulate in post-retirement. Investing in a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or an IRA is a great way to save for retirement because the contributions are tax-deductible, and the money in these plans grows tax-free until you withdraw it in retirement.
Create an estate plan. Estate planning can easily be overlooked, and if you are married, I often see women left out of these critical conversations surrounding the distribution of assets. Strive to be included in all discussions if you’re married or have a partner, and if single, make sure your wills or trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives are current. If a life change happens, such as divorce or the death of a spouse, make sure you have a reliable financial advisor and attorney you can speak to and lean on for support during this emotional time.
These factors highlight the importance of women taking an active role in planning and saving for their retirement to ensure they have enough money to support themselves during their golden years. Personal financial planning and retirement saving may look a little different for women, but you’ll be able to live the retirement you’ve always dreamed of with the right strategies and support. If you have any questions about working to create a holistic financial plan or would like a no-obligation, complimentary review of your retirement strategy, we’re just a phone call away.