Retirement Funding Estate Planning Money Matters X² For Women

Planning for a Long Life: Women, Longevity, and Money

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Originally written for Quidwell.

We’ve known for a long time that, on average, women live longer than men. But it might surprise you just how much longer we tend to live, how likely we are to reach age 100, and how unlikely we are to be financially secure throughout all that time.

In this Planning for Your Future 5-part series, we’ll look at each piece of the puzzle and break down what you need to do to be confident about your financial future, and excited for the possibilities ahead! First up, let’s look at what women are really facing when it comes to living a long life.

A recent life expectancy study shows that, on average, White and Hispanic women outlive their male counterparts by 5 years and Black women outlive their male counterparts by 7 years. Data from the UK shows that women born in 1970 have a 19% chance of hitting the Century mark at age 100 while women born in 2010 have a 33.3% chance!

At the same time, women tend to have less money in retirement savings, more debt (especially student loan debt), and lower lifetime earnings than men their same age…not a great combo when we’re also facing the very real possibility of living to age 100. Add onto that the fact that women tend to be more fearful of investing and more conservative when they are invested, and we’ve just compounded our problem by growing our assets more slowly (or not at all if most of your money is in a savings account, more on that later) but needing more money overall to support those extra years.

It’s starting to feel a little dire here, so let’s focus on finding the edge pieces of our puzzle and starting our border rather than staring hopelessly at the big 1,000-piece pile on the table. Here’s what we know:

  1. We are likely to live a long life and have a relatively high chance of living to age 100. The upside: this gives us more time to do the things we love!
  2. We have more student loan debt because more women than ever are going to and graduating from college. The upside: this gives us the opportunity to earn and save money more than any other generation of women before us.
  3. 57% of the women surveyed for a 2019 study said they wish they were more confident in their financial decision making. The upside: the resources exist to make this possible!

 In the next parts of this series we’ll talk through what it means to invest for the long-term knowing that you may need to support yourself for 35 to 40 years in retirement or more, what steps you can take now to empower yourself to be retirement ready (whether that’s in 5 years or 25 years), what you can do to stay active and healthy in body and mind during retirement with an encore career, and last but certainly not least, how you can balance your need to save for your future with your current needs and wants. Because let’s face it, sacrificing everything you enjoy now to save more for the future isn’t enjoyable or sustainable. All you need is the right information in front of you, so that you can make intelligent choices that allow you to keep enjoying little luxuries without guilt and still be retirement ready in the future. Let’s sit down together and put this puzzle together piece by piece!

 Juncture Wealth Strategies cannot and does not provide tax or legal advice.  For specific advice on these aspects of your overall financial plan, you should consult your tax advisor or attorney.  This is provided as a summary only and does not guarantee accuracy.