Juggling a career, caring for your family and other responsibilities can put you in a position of financial disadvantage when it’s time to retire.
Maybe you chose to stay home with your children, giving you less of an opportunity to accrue the same amount of savings as your husband.
Perhaps you hit a glass ceiling at work and your income didn’t grow as it should have.
Maybe you weren’t savvy about investing in retirement.
As a woman, the retirement challenges you face as you begin looking ahead are different.
Typically, women live longer than men.
With a common age difference between spouses being around two years, you could be looking at about four years – or more – of existing financially on your own in your final years.
2) Income differences over time
It’s quite common today to hear about the gender wage gap.
Over the course of a married couples’ working years, the result is a markedly lower amount of income earned by the female partner.
3) Insufficient retirement savings
Lower earnings over the course of a lifetime will obviously culminate in lower savings.
Not only is this an effect of the approximately 78% of a dollar that is earned for every dollar a male counterpart earns, but it’s also proportional to the time taken off to care for your family if that’s the choice you made.
4) Lower social security payouts
Of course, if you’ve worked fewer years, your Social Security earned will be lower, too.
In addition, the cost of living adjustments to Social Security isn’t increasing at the same pace as the cost of healthcare, creating a significant retirement challenge.
5) Increased divorce rates over age 50
The divorce rate for the Baby Boomer generation has gone up about 50%in the last 25 years.
A woman who has spent a significant number of years out of the workforce is at a financial disadvantage when she goes through a divorce after age 50.
6) Death of a spouse
In some families, the husband is the one who does financial planning. When he passes away, the wife can be left in the dark as to how her monetary needs will be met.
7) Scarcity of job opportunities
As you draw closer to the age at which you’re thinking about retirement, the opportunities for employment are sparse. This can be a real issue if you need to supplement your income or support yourself.
8) The issue of healthcare
Healthcare is the largest expenditure in retirement.
Consider this statistic: 69% of the people who are turning 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime, with 35% eventually needing a nursing home. Other forms of long-term care are home health aides or assisted living.
What can make this such a hardship for you as a woman isn’t that you’re likely to be sick more often – but that you may live longer?
Before you’re left on your own, you could exhaust your savings on the end-of-life care your partner needs.
The reality is, you’re like to outlive your savings.
Source: The High Cost of Living Longer: Women and Retirement Health Care (Healthview Services)
The solution for women’s retirement challenges
Having a plan is imperative.
If you’re in the pre-retirement stage of life, there is still time to make a financial plan that will see you through retirement with a reasonable level of financial security.
A health insurance expert can act as a knowledgeable guide to help you create a strategy for the future that will provide economic stability and overcome retirement challenges.
They can also help you navigate the healthcare system and choose the necessary coverage for your retirement years.
Do you feel like you have a secure plan for the future in terms of finances and healthcare?