Empowering Women to Plan for Retirement

Empowering Women to Plan for Retirement

March 01, 2024

International Women's Day, observed annually on March 8th, is a reminder of the battle and ongoing journey toward gender equality and empowerment. It's a day dedicated to recognizing and uplifting women from all walks of life, including those approaching retirement age. Despite strides made toward equal rights, women continue to encounter challenges in securing their financial futures.

From wage disparities to career breaks for caregiving responsibilities, these factors can significantly impact a woman's ability to save for retirement. However, with careful planning and the help of a financial advisor, women can take control of their finances and retire confidently.

Understanding Women's Retirement Savings Disparities

Data shows a significant gap between men and women regarding retirement savings. Women lag significantly behind men, with men boasting an average retirement savings balance of $98,000, whereas women have an average balance of just $62,000. This discrepancy can largely be attributed to the persistent gender pay gap, resulting in lower lifetime earnings for women and subsequently diminished retirement savings. 

Furthermore, women are more likely to experience interruptions in their careers, whether due to caregiving responsibilities for children or elderly family members or opting for part-time employment. These career breaks can further restrict women's ability to accumulate retirement savings, which can leave many women vulnerable to financial insecurity as they near retirement age. Addressing these systemic issues is crucial to fostering financial inclusivity and equality. Let's explore strategies women can foster to help overcome these barriers and attain financial wellness.

Education and Awareness 

One of the first steps towards helping empower retired women financially is providing them access to quality education and raising awareness about financial literacy specific to their retirement years. Nearly half (48 percent) of women are confident about their finances, although only 28 percent feel empowered to take further action.

Furthermore, according to a special report by the BMO Real Financial Progress Index, only 53% of women feel financially confident about their ability to retire at their target age, compared with 66% of men. Plus, a shocking 74% of women surveyed report having no financial plan in place to reach their retirement goals, compared with 58% of men.

Retirement comes with unique financial considerations, and retiring women need to acquire the knowledge and skills to navigate this phase successfully. Programs and initiatives focusing on retirement planning, managing pensions and savings, and understanding healthcare costs can play a pivotal role in empowering retired women and helping them take control of their financial well-being. 

At Agemy Financial Strategies, we have a library of free online educational tools and resources to take advantage of. From informative financial blogs to educational YouTube shows and radio podcasts, it's never too early—or too late—to start taking charge of your finances.

Building and Maintaining A Solid Retirement Plan

Creating and sustaining a robust financial plan for your golden years is essential for women to achieve their long-term financial goals and secure their future. Here are some key steps that can help women build and maintain a financial plan tailored specifically to them:

  • Diversify Your Investment Portfolio: This strategy can help mitigate risk and maximize potential returns by spreading investments across asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds. It also helps reduce the impact of market volatility and increases the likelihood of long-term financial growth.
  • Plan for Healthcare Expenses:  Health insurance premiums typically account for most retirees' yearly healthcare expenses, making up around 70% to 81%To proactively address these high costs, you should explore options like long-term care insurance, health savings accounts (HSAs), or Medicare supplement plans.
  • Explore Available Insurance Options: Invest in insurance policies, such as life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance, to help safeguard against unforeseen events that could derail your financial plan.

    And don't forget about planning for long-term care. Long-term care insurance is a policy that covers costs related to nursing home care, assisted living facilities or caretakers coming to your house. It pays for support for those who can no longer perform everyday activities as they age. Long-term care insurance costs are different for men and women. In 2023, the average 60-year-old man paid $1,200 per year for a level benefit policy that covered $165,000 in care. The average 60-year-old woman paid $1,960 for the same coverage!

    Building Supportive Networks

    For several reasons, establishing women's networks in financial and retirement planning is crucial. These networks help provide a supportive and inclusive space where women can freely discuss their unique financial challenges, concerns, and goals. By sharing experiences and knowledge, women can gain valuable insights and learn from one another's successes and mistakes.

    Helping empower them to make informed decisions about their finances and retirement. Together, they can advocate for policy changes and reforms that promote economic empowerment and equality. Additionally, access to financial and retirement planning mentors can inspire and guide women in helping achieve their financial goals.

    Working with a Financial Advisor

    Working with a knowledgeable and experienced financial advisor can be a valuable resource for retired women on their financial journey. A financial advisor can provide personalized guidance and create a comprehensive retirement plan catered to you. At Agemy Financial Strategies, our financial advisors can help you with the following services, crafted to your unique needs and retirement goals: 

    • Help manage your retirement savings.
    • Preserve and grow your wealth.
    • Create a sustainable withdrawal strategy. 
    • Lifestyle Management.
    • Estate and Legacy Planning.

    Our Fiduciary advisors work diligently to help preserve your financial stability and retirement longevity. For a complete list of our service offerings, see here.

    Final Thoughts

    Our final tip for women transitioning for retirement is to regularly review and update your financial plan to reflect changes in your life circumstances, financial goals, and market conditions. These steps and staying committed to your financial plan can help you take control of your finances, build wealth, and achieve financial security for yourself and your family. 

    While women encounter distinct hurdles in retirement planning, these obstacles shouldn't stop their aspirations. Through dismantling barriers, fostering education, and enhancing financial accessibility, we can help forge a path for women to attain financial prosperity in retirement and beyond. Let our advisors guide you in crafting a future wherein every woman is empowered with the requisite tools, resources, and avenues to thrive financially and unleash her complete potential.

    Contact us today to set up your complimentary strategy session.