When we reach our 50s, we are approaching the final stretch of retirement preparation and need to get serious with our plans. Statistically, women will live longer and experience higher healthcare costs than men and thus we must take an active role in our retirement destiny.
Special challenges for women to achieve their retirement goals include:
- The average 65-year-old woman in the U.S. can expect to live another 20.6 years.*
- Statistically 50% of women age 65 and older are widowed or divorced, and 50% of women age 75 and older live alone. **
- Women are more likely to take career breaks for family caregiving, reducing their savings potential.
- Women may earn less, have less retirement savings and a lower social security benefit.
Let’s talk about the most impactful ways to influence your financial outcome:
- Don’t rely on others to plan for your retirement. Instead become involved and educate yourself about money management, retirement plans and investing.
- Create your vision, set goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
- Maximize your retirement savings contributions to employer plans and IRAs. And elect to participate in the age 50 catch-ups.
- Review your risk tolerance and asset allocation to be sure your portfolio is invested appropriately.
- Consider the impact of healthcare costs in retirement. Statistically over 70% of individuals over 65 will need long-term care according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Identify the “Gap” between the annual income needed for retirement and the annual retirement income you expect to receive. Take the steps to close the gap during your earning years.
Knowledge will positively impact your strategies and these steps will guide you in achieving your retirement goals. Consider working with a financial professional who can help you see the big picture, choose investment options for short- and long-term needs, and keep you up to date on new legislation and tax changes.
*NCHS Data Brief, Number 267, December 2016
**US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, “A Profile of Older Americans: 2015”.