Women Face a Unique Path to Retirement

Women Face a Unique Path to Retirement


The truth of the matter is that women are controlling more wealth than any other time in our history. They also face unique challenges when it comes to retirement planning. The fact that, on average, women live longer than men make proper planning even more important.

In my experience working with households where women are the sole financial decision maker, women value professional advice and collaboration when it comes to retirement planning. They are confident in their ability to stick with a plan but are not overconfident in their ability to manage risk when markets act up.

Time vs Timing- They embrace the idea that the time spent invested in the market is more valuable than timing the market. Meeting with a financial planner has more in common with working with a personal trainer than going to a doctor. There are no overnight remedies but a disciplined plan over time is proven to be the most effective strategy.

Inflation is the silent killer- The primary goal of retirement planning is not to get rich. It is to save enough for retirement and have our investments outpace inflation. Holding cash feels good in times like these but holding too much over the long run erodes the purchasing power on our savings.

Social Security Can Get Complicated-  If you’ve spent an extended amount of time out of the workforce to raise a family or care for a family member, you may have a lower social security benefit than expected. This is because your Social Security benefit takes into consideration your top 35 working years. If you spent a good amount of time outside of the workforce there are going to be some zeroes averaged in when calculating your benefit. If you are divorced, you should educate yourself on any spousal and/or survivor benefits that you may be eligible for from your ex-spouse.

Confronting Long Term Care- We have all seen the statistics. Women have a longer life expectancy than men. This increases the probability of being a caretaker and also needing outside help to care for themselves. Addressing this potential cost and how it would affect your retirement plan is critical. For many, it could be the largest risk to their retirement savings.

Aligning Your Values with Your Investments- With the rise in interest for sustainable investing, there are many investment companies that can tailor a portfolio to invest in companies with a focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns. This is great news for those that want to invest in companies that are having a positive social and environmental impact.

A Smarter Way to Be Charitable- The ability to deduct charitable contributions has become more difficult due to the SECURE Act which was legislation passed by Congress in 2019. However, there are strategies where you can bunch your contributions in a given year to increase the likelihood of being able to receive a deduction.

If you are within 10 years of retirement, now is a good time to get organized and start assembling your trusted team of professionals to help you get the most out of your retirement. If you have questions about any of the above or would like to discuss how I can help you plan, feel free to reach out for a complimentary consultation.

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA / SIPC. Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd, a registered investment advisor. Stratos Wealth Partners is a separate entity from LPL Financial.

Common Retirement Investment Mistakes

Common Retirement Investment Mistakes


Only one-in-four Americans (27%) feel very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to the 2020 Retirement Confidence Survey Summary Report.⁠1 While the number is up slightly from the 2018 survey (23%), it underscores a pervasive sense of uncertainty among those approaching retirement age.

While there is no single action that can boost the collective confidence of retirees, there are several key investment mistakes that, if avoided, can help maximize retirement savings and provide confidence to those who are entering their Golden Years.

Pitfall #1: Failing to Maximize Your Contribution
If you can afford to do so, contributing the maximum amount to your employer-sponsored retirement plan will increase the chances that you’ll reach your investment goal. The earlier you start, the better; it will allow your investments, and any potential earnings to grow on a tax-deferred basis.

Pitfall #2: Failing to Develop a Concrete Plan
Establishing clear goals that incorporate a time element (number of years until retirement) is necessary to create a relevant investment plan. Without such a plan, it is difficult to understand whether your savings will provide you with the living standard to which you’ve grown accustomed and for each year of your retirement.

Pitfall #3: Short-Term Investment Mindset
The stock market fluctuates; that’s a fact. And in the short-term they face a relatively high risk of price volatility. But in the long-term stocks have historically delivered relatively stable earnings. So selling off your holdings whenever the market takes a dip is a sure way to incur losses that impact your long-term goals.

Pitfall #4: The Quest for Perfection
Buying low and selling high is evergreen advice, but trying to time investment decisions on when the market will be at its lowest or highest is risky business, often leading to missed opportunities. As per #3 above, investing for the long-term can provide a more stable investment mindset.

Pitfall #5: Eggs All in One Basket
Some investors make the mistake of investing in just one fund or asset type, thereby subjecting it to high risk should the market impact their specific holding. Spreading your investment risk over a mix of assets can help manage potential loss during these sharp market swings. The key here is diversification to offset losses in a particular asset category.

With these pitfalls in mind, you are well-positioned to avoid the common mistakes of other investors and maximize opportunities for your retirement plan.



This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.



Retirees Get a Raise as Inflation Persists


First the good news: Retirees will get a generous increase in their Social Security checks come January 2022. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by a whopping 5.9% in 2022, the biggest increase in 40 years.1 That means that the average monthly retirement benefit of $1,565 will grow to $1,657. Although Social Security accounts for only about 30% of overall retirement income, millions of retirees — over 10% — rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. So the increase will be more than welcome for many.
The bad news is that the boost only adds to an already disturbing inflation picture. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in 6.2% higher in October compared with a year earlier, even faster than an already heady 5.4% pace through September, and above economists’ forecasts. Rates have moderated since summer, but they remain stubbornly high. Prices for cars, fuel, rent, meat, and other groceries are noticeably higher, and many families are feeling the pinch.

Bottlenecks, Shortages, and Stimulus

The root cause of the rising prices is of course Covid. The pandemic has caused major disruptions in supply chains across the globe. From microchips to lumber, supply bottlenecks have led to shortages and price increases. Labor shortages have exacerbated the situation, particularly in leisure and hospitality businesses, resulting in wage increases — many long overdue. Add to this the massive government stimulus packages passed since the spring of 2020, and you have the perfect inflationary storm.

The big question is: will it persist? Are we headed toward a 70s-style inflation cycle? Six months ago, the consensus answer to this question was an emphatic no. The uptick was widely expected to be short-lived, basically just a rebound from the price drops at the outset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. Since then, however, supply chain problems have festered and structural issues such as labor shortages have surfaced. What’s more, the price of oil has more than doubled over the past year, up 35% in just the past two months. Although most economists still believe that inflation will moderate in the coming months, many are less certain in their outlook. There is also the matter of the huge infrastructure and spending bills currently before Congress, which if passed, will add to inflationary pressures.

For its part, the Federal Reserve is increasingly concerned that supply disruptions could last long enough to prompt consumers and businesses to expect higher prices, setting off an upward spiral of wage and cost increases. It has already signaled a slowdown in bond purchases, and could start raising interest rates if the inflation numbers remain elevated. But raising rates is not a popular move in Washington, on Wall Street, or on Main Street, so the Fed will likely proceed very cautiously, with definitive moves — if any — unlikely before year-end.

What You Can Do

In the face of rising prices, consumers do not have many options. You can be more selective in your purchases, charge more for your services if you’re self-employed, or try to convince your employer to raise your salary to compensate. But in the end, if food, rent, and fuel cost more, you have to pay more.

For investors, the key to staying ahead of inflation is to seek investments that have the potential to deliver higher returns. Historically, stocks have shown the greatest ability to outpace inflation over time, although past performance is no guarantee of future results. There are also inflation-indexed bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, but they generally make sense only if you expect a major uptick in inflation.

Talk to your financial professional to see what investing strategy might best suit your circumstances in an inflationary or rising rate environment.




Social Security Administration, October 13, 2021.

This material was prepared by LPL Financial. This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that they views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

All company names noted herin are for educational purposes only, and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) help eliminate inflation risk to your portfolio, as the principal is adjusted semiannually for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), while providing a real rate of return guaranteed by the U.S. government. However, a few things you need to be aware of are that the CPI might not accurately match the general inflation rate; therefore, the principal balance on TIPS may not keep pace with the actual rate of inflation. The real interest yields on TIPS may rise, especially if there is a sharp spike in interest rates. If so, the rate of return on TIPS could lag behind other types of inflation-protected securities, like floating rate notes and T-bills. TIPs do not pay the inflation-adjusted balance until maturity, and the accrued principal on TIPS could decline, if there is deflation.