Let’s Look at Women’s Retirement

May is the month of flowers, springtime weather and Mother’s Day. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I traditionally ask my clients to think about the status of Mom’s (and maybe your own) retirement prospects. If you are like most folks, you and your Mom may have a lot to think about. 

Women’s Retirement Concerns 

Do you worry that you or your Mom will outliving your retirement income? Unfortunately, that’s a realistic concern for many women. At age 65,women can expect to live, on average, an extra 19.8 years.* In addition, many women will live into their 90s. This means that women should generally plan for a long retirement that will last at least 20 to 30 years. Women should also strongly consider the possibility of spending some/many of those years alone.
 
According to recent statistics, 42% of older women are widowed,11% are divorced, and about half of all women age 75 and older live alone.** For married women, the loss of a spouse can mean a significant decrease in retirement income from Social Security or pensions.
 
So what can women do to make sure they’ll have enough income to last throughout retirement? 
 
Here are some tips:

• Estimate how much income you’ll need. Use your current expenses as a starting point, but note that your expenses may change dramatically by the time you retire.
 
• Find out how much you can expect to receive from Social Security, pension plans, and other sources. What benefits will you receive should you become widowed or divorced?
 
• Set a retirement savings goal that you can work toward and keep track of your progress.
 
• Save regularly, save as much as you can, and then look for ways to save more–dedicate a portion of every raise, bonus, cash gift, or tax refund to your retirement savings.
 
• Consider purchasing long-term care insurance to help protect your retirement savings and income from the high cost of nursing home care. 

Even though there is a lot of information published every year on women and retirement, women only seem to be doing marginally better at saving for and planning for their retirement years.
 
If you need ideas on your retirement planning, contact me. I can help you with a savings plan, budgeting, planning for retirement income and information on long-term care insurance.
                                                     
Statistics are an excerpt from: Forefield Advisor
* Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 58, Number
1, 2009
** Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration on Aging, A Profile of Older Americans: 2008

 
Jane Nowak  is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with a focus on Women’s Retirement and Financial Planning for Women. Located in the Smyrna, Marietta, Vinings area of Atlanta, GA,  Jane’s goal is to educate and empower women to take control of their daily finances so they can fully fund their retirement dreams and needs. Jane has recently had articles quoted and published on-line at the NASDAQ, Womenetics.com, Smart Money Chicks, Fox Business News, CreditCards.com and Financial Planning Association (FPA) websites.

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