As a Woman, What Do You View Retirement to Be Like?

As a woman young or old, have you thought about what your retirement life will be like? Does it include being financially sound and not having to worry about running out of money?

A recent report from BMO Financial Group points out that even though they are less financially set for retirement, women are finding themselves happier in retired life than their male counterparts. Much of that happiness resonates from having had friendships with people over time, especially other women in later years.

Heading into retirement, women face some challenges that typically do not impact men as much.

Challenges Facing Women

First, women typically reach retirement in a more challenging situation than men, given that they oftentimes have smaller nest eggs.

Among the reasons for this situation are lesser lifetime earnings and a less aggressive investment approach than their male counterparts. Throw in the fact that women oftentimes outlive men, and you have a situation where women need to cover themselves for a longer period time when it comes to money.

As the BMO study notes, females are less confident regarding their financial knowledge, less tolerant of risk, and more concerned regarding their futures, but they are more apt to ask for the advice of financial planners.

Many financial experts will advise women that they need to speed up their retirement planning process, not waiting until the later years to begin a course of action. Women are generally advised to master their financial management skills by educating themselves on how to invest and even engage planners sooner rather than later.

Statistics show that only around 33 percent of women 65 years of age or older are married, and on average women will outlive their husbands by 15 years.

According to a report from the Older Women’s League, females only obtain 54 percent as much private pension income as their male counterparts. Given that figure, it should not come as a surprise that more and more women are falling behind financially.

For those women who expect to be able to rely on their husband’s pension, think again.

As happens in many cases when the man dies first his widow will only receive about half the survivor benefits; not coming close to meeting her income needs to continue her lifestyle.

Travel the Road to Better Finances

For women who are looking to better their situation when it comes to retirement, a good road to travel is sacrificing some present salary in exchange for better years ahead.

It is also advisable to take retirement as late as possible so that one’s Social Security funds come later rather than sooner. By taking SS funds later in life, a woman like a man stands to receive a higher payout.

Females who have gone through a divorce are entitled to Social Security payments equal to half of their ex-husbands benefits, assuming they were married for at least a decade. Keep in mind, however, that women who remarry lose that right, but they can collect payments based on their new husband’s benefits.

Women need to look at their retirement options early and often, avoiding a financial calamity that too many females end up experiencing over time.

About the author

Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as human resources and running a small business.


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