To save for retirement with confidence, it's important to think about when you want to retire and how you want to spend your time. Once you have your vision – or goal – you need a strategy to achieve it. Even if you've already started saving, it's important to regularly review your strategy and consider these questions.
1. When do you plan to retire?
When you want to retire determines how many years you have to save. If a man and woman of the same age wish to retire at the same future age, the woman may actually have fewer years of earnings to save. Why? Women drop out of the workforce for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents.1 This time away from the workforce can leave a woman with less money saved for retirement.
It’s important for women to take this factor into account when developing a savings strategy. This could include working more years, saving more while working, coordinating with a spouse’s savings or simply planning to spend less in retirement.
2. How long might your retirement last?
In general, women live longer than men. The longer you live, the longer your retirement savings will need to last. This means your strategy should take a longer retirement into account.
Did you know? At age 85 or older, the approximate ratio of women to men is 2 to 1.
- U.S. Census Bureau, 2012
3. How much risk is right for you?
Risk tolerance is one of the legs of a personal retirement strategy. You’ll want to be comfortable with your investments while ensuring they work as hard as they can.
If you prefer having most of your money in cash and investments with lower volatility, you may be actually taking more risk – the risk you do not achieve enough growth to reach your long-term retirement goal. We can help you develop a portfolio that balances your long-term goals with your tolerance for risk.
4. How do you balance saving for retirement with other goals?
While retirement may seem further off than other goals, time is a valuable asset – so don’t delay saving for one goal over another. Instead, view your goals together.
A solid savings strategy includes solutions for both short- and long- term priorities. We’re well-equipped to help identify solutions for managing multiple priorities in ways that complement rather than compete with one another.
5. Have you taken steps to manage unexpected events?
Every good plan requires contingencies for unexpected events, such as illness or job loss. Expected or not, more than 80% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.2 With careful preparation and a well-diversified portfolio, we can help you weather unexpected changes that may come your way.
How we can help
Achieving the retirement you envision is a possibility. Your financial advisor can help you build a strategy to achieve it. Contact your local financial advisor today.
1 “Women and the Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as They Age,” Older Women’s League, 2012.
2 “Women & Investing,” Lauren Ohayon, That Money Show, www.pbs.org, pulled Jan. 5, 2010.