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.