Jot these down, ladies.
As a certified planner, I often answer questions about how women should plan for retirement and how women can "keep up" with men. Because women tend to outlive men by an average of two to three years, we face a unique set of challenges. But beyond life expectancy, a woman preparing for retirement shouldn't try to keep up with anyone else-male or female.
Still, there are a few considerations women should take into account. When planning for retirement, women should generally plan to live beyond the average age (88 years old for a woman turning 65 this year, versus 86 years for a man). And because we tend to earn less than our male counterparts, on average, we are likely to have accumulated less in our retirement savings accounts. Combined, these factors put women at greater risk to outlive their retirement savings.
I work with a number of couples who delegate financial duties to one partner-in many cases a male partner. But as we grow older, it becomes increasingly important for both partners-especially women- to be literate in basic personal finance and investing. I strongly encourage my clients to share this responsibility, so that the surviving partner is prepared to manage her own nest egg, should she be called upon to do so.
Man or woman, each of us brings a unique set of resources, goals, and circumstances to our retirement journeys, and the planning around each of those factors should be tailored to meet our individual goals.
Here are five factors to consider discussing with your financial planner.
When developing your retirement plan, be sure to craft an investment portfolio that will grow over time at a rate that is at least equal to or greater than inflation in order to meet your future financial goals.
Consider working with a financial planner who will help you set realistic goals and coach you towards a savings plan to help achieve those goals. A planner will also help you identify the levers to pull in order to match retirement income needs with resources, develop cash flow projections, and make adjustments to your plan as you progress towards your goal.