We recognize that due to a number of potential factors, women experience different life journeys on the way to and during retirement. Women will typically enjoy a longer retirement than men. Proactive planning and open dialogue can improve overall preparedness for major life transitions.
One of life's most challenging circumstances is caring for an ill or disabled loved one, and can represent a financial, mental, and emotional strain. It is also an event that is twice as likely to happen to women. Sixty-two percent of all family caregivers are women, and that responsibility often comes before retirement. For women fulfilling the caregiver role, taking on that responsibility alters everything: savings, retirement, stress levels, and even the caregiver’s mental and physical health.
One of the largest challenges of caregivers is that, too often, no one looks out for the overall well-being of the caregiver. According to AARP, almost one-fifth of Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult with health or functional needs, and signs indicate that this number is continuing to grow. One of the main challenges facing a woman caregiver is maintaining financial health and standard of living nearing or entering retirement. Additionally, an estimated 58% of women 65 and older will need long-term care themselves.
Planning for the care of a loved one, as well as for your own care, can provide you with greater financial stability when these life transitions arise.
Among women ages 55 to 64, the divorce rate has tripled. For those 65 and older, it has increased six-fold. Divorce over fifty, also known as gray divorce, is becoming more common, with women mostly making the decision to separate.
However, in many relationships—especially for those women in the gray divorce period—most of the control and responsibility over finances has always remained with the husband. This leaves many divorced women financially uncertain, not only because of the financial strain divorce can place on anyone, but because of a simple lack of experience in successfully managing finances.
It is important that both parties remain engaged in financial planning throughout the relationship, so that both are prepared to handle important financial decisions should divorce occur. We also help to provide our clients with greater financial literacy through education, so that those who haven’t had experience managing finances prior to divorce can begin to make financial decisions with greater confidence.
Pre-planning can help simplify or even eliminate some of the more difficult decisions surviving family members might face in the event of a loved one’s death. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills (advance directives) and pre-planned funeral arrangements may be among the most loving gifts you can give one another as a couple, especially if you have dependent children. If these key estate planning materials are not in place, there is no better day than today to give each other the gift of advance planning.
Widows also often find themselves without the necessary understanding of their own finances to make confident financial decisions after their husbands pass away. We often work with widows who have little awareness of their assets and accounts, much less how to successfully manage those assets to ensure their own financial well-being throughout the rest of their lives.
We not only help to guide our clients in making important financial decisions during these major life transitions, but provide essential education to help you make those decisions with total confidence.