No matter our gender, retirement planning is something that should be approached with great care. However, for the fairer sex, there may be some additional challenges on the road ahead:
Statistically speaking, women live longer.1 This means that even the many female retirees who are married may spend at least a portion of their retirement without their spouse. While a longer life can be an amazing gift, without proper planning, running out of money is a risk that needs to be addressed.
Women can have fewer lifetime earnings. Whether due to staying home to take care of family or the gender wage gap, women typically have made less income over the course of their careers. Fewer lifetime earnings often mean less to invest for retirement. Plus, Social Security benefits are based on earnings, so women retirees can likely receive less from the Social Security Administration as well.
Changes in marital status may have significant financial impact. When marital status changes in retirement, income may likely be negatively affected. Whether retirees outlive their spouses or get divorced, these life events can determine the income they receive from Social Security and any spousal pensions benefits.
Fortunately, there are steps women in or nearing retirement can take to plan for them now, including:
- Knowing how much Social Security income they’re estimated to receive, as well as how that would change if they were to become divorced or outlive their spouse.
- Understanding what their survivor benefits are for any pensions their husbands may have.
- Speaking with a financial professional to review available retirement planning options
- Using financial approaches that help reduce the risk of outliving their money, such as a retirement income plan that leverages guaranteed income for life.
To learn more about the potential challenges women face in retirement and how to help effectively plan for them, download our free guidebook, Women in Retirement: 4 Realities That Shouldn’t Be Ignored.
1U.S. Census Bureau. 2017 National Population Projections Tables. Table 2. Projected age and sex composition of the population https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/popproj/2017-summary-tables.html
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