After leaving their career, women may find retirement filled with emotions and concerns that differ from men. Here is a look at some financial and non-financial advice women may find useful.
Richard Eisenberg, a writer for Next Avenue, identified four things most women fear in retirement.
1. Living alone. Most women believe they will live at least the last decade of retirement alone, because spouses pass away and/or their children are occupied with their own lives. Advice: Both partners must be knowledgeable about their household finances, especially their investments. Planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement is also important.
2. Social Security. Women he spoke to believe they need to take benefits sooner rather than later and couldn’t explain why. Also, spousal and survivor benefits were intimidating to many women. Advice: Social Security is an essential retirement topic for both partners to discuss together. The AARP website has an impressive Social Security calculator.
3. Longevity. Many women had parents who thrived later in life. Advice: Maintain a flexible mindset when designing saving, investment, and withdrawal strategies customized for future cash needs. Markets, spending habits, and retirement cycles twist and turn.
4. Investment decisions. Women at times lack confidence in their investment decisions. Advice: Grow more present and active in financial decisions— wisdom and perspective when planning is invaluable. The asset-management process for women begins with finding a planner, then asking tough questions.
Retirement Planning Tips to Help Women Prepare for the Next Chapter
To complete their plan into retirement, I offer my clients these valuable tips on the importance of planning for the non-financial side, their new lifestyle!
Discuss plans and expectations. Before retiring, communicate with family members about what they can expect from you, and you from them.
For example, marriage in retirement is a hot topic. The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together by Dorian Mintzer is a terrific resource. Check it out!
Also, consider how much time you would like to spend caring for grandchildren. Some grandmothers are automatically the “on-call” babysitter in retirement. Some love it; others, not so much, and it’s hard to say “no.” There are many online articles on setting boundaries and saying “no” in a non-offensive way.
Is there a potential need for caregiving within your family? How can family members share this responsibility? Many online resources are available for having these discussions.
What satisfied you at work? After retiring, one’s daily structure, identity, purpose, social network, ongoing learning, and teamwork will collapse. Ask yourself what will be missed the most, and what can you do to replace them? What skills did you enjoy, and how can those be used in retirement?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s common for doctor visits to increase for retired patients because they’ve lost their purpose and are more complacent about life. Don’t be that patient! Get involved in activities you enjoy and stick to it.
Prepare an “Experience List.” The phrase “Experience List” sounds more exciting than “Bucket List!” What adventures will you plan for, whether they be small or grandiose, and by when? And then—just do it!
It’s never too late to plan a complete transition, planning for both the financial and non-financial aspects of retirement!