Women, on average, live longer than men—this is a plain truth (http://ti.me/8T7Ll), a fact that must be taken into consideration when planning for retirement. Running out of retirement funds partway through is not only a risk, it’s an unfortunate reality for many women who’ve outlasted their investments. With this in mind, here are a few general guidelines for women looking into planning their retirement.
1. Start early.
Not only is there still a distinct wage gap between female and male earners, women are also faced with the fact that, in all likelihood, they will end up with a good bit of extra time that they will be needing those retirement funds. This makes it an absolute imperative to start planning for retirement early in order to counteract these two factors working in tandem.
2. Plan for extra time.
As noted in the first point, women are still anticipated to outlast men by a good margin, about 5 to 10 years. Many in the younger generations can expect that to remain, alongside the average age increasing due to advancements in technologies. While planning for a retirement portfolio that will last forever is out of the reach of most, being realistic about longevity is extremely important, and making a conservative estimate may leave you in dire straits down the road. Plan for longevity.
3. Know your caregiver options.
Women with male partners will likely outlast their significant other. While they will be there to administer care, unfortunately they afterwards find themselves bereft of any similar assistance themselves. Having a caregiver plan will help you sail smoothly throughout the entirety of your retirement and ensure that you have a helping hand as you age.
4. Know your personal risks.
There are a lot of statistics floating around about longevity, but statistics and averages are just that. As individuals they’re helpful as general guidelines, but are completely ineffective as rules. Knowing not only your family’s medical history and risks associated (or lack of risks which may contribute to a greatly extended retirement) but also knowing your own financial tendencies, will help you get a better grasp on how to manage your money and what factors you should alert your financial advisor of when making a long-term retirement plan.
Extended life shouldn’t have to be something you look at as a downside. Taking steps in the immediate future to ensure that you won’t be too strongly impacted by the unique problems you’ll encounter as a woman facing retirement, will help you make the most of those extra years.
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