Who is more likely to be single in retirement?
Who will live longer, statistically?
Who will have greater health care costs?
Who generally will have less savings for retirement?
Women – that’s who! Women control $11 trillion in investable assets and make up 51 percent of the labor force. By 2020, it is estimated that number will grow to 66 percent, yet women often say they feel misunderstood by the investment community. Why is that? Often, women state that they feel financial advisers are geared more toward working with men than women. They feel “talked at,” rather than listened to or consulted.
As a general rule, women live almost five years longer than men and are likely to earn only 81 percent of what men earn. Both of these facts affect savings and Social Security benefits. Less savings and fewer benefits mean a shorter retirement period or a more frugal one. At least 12 percent of women haven’t even started saving for retirement. Many women have incredibly heavy, complex schedules that often involve caregiving for children, aging parents or both children and parents. Those responsibilities could take them out of the workforce for a while, which would reduce their ability to earn money (affecting both savings and retirement). If or when they choose to return to the workplace, their options may be affected. Because women tend to live longer, they also have the added worry of having to take care of the marital estate after the passing of their spouse.
So what can we do to help women plan?
First, as with any client, make sure that you understand the individual’s needs. Don’t ever assume that any two clients are the same. Never assume a woman, doesn’t understand or isn’t financially savvy. Talk to your clients and uncover the individual needs, concerns and goals. Educate the client on the best way to meet those goals and most, of all, listen.
Next, help your clients understand the need to save more for retirement and how to do so. Educate them on the various vehicles that are available and what would best suit their needs. For example, you might help a woman learn how to deal with shortfalls (including spending less), delay retirement or perhaps work some during retirement. Before that big day, help her to establish an emergency fund, learn what her cash flow is, maintain good credit, set clear goals, align those goals with her time horizon and risk tolerance, take into consideration taxes, fees and inflation, and learn to make ongoing adjustments to her plan. Most of all, as with every client, be there to assist with their ever-changing needs and those of their families.
Old North State Trust, LLC (ONST) periodically produces publications as a service to clients and friends. The information contained in these publications is intended to provide general information about issues related to trust, investment and estate related topics. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary depending upon individual circumstances. The information contained in these publications is intended solely for informational purposes, is proprietary to ONST and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete or timely.
Susan Willett is the director of trust services and oversees all aspects of trust administration for Old North State Trust, LLC. Old North State Trust, a North Carolina chartered trust company, provides: asset management services; income, estate and trust tax consulting; retirement planning and administration; and trustee and estate services to both individuals and businesses. Old North State Trust professionals have many years of experience and for over a decade have assisted clients in identifying and reaching their financial goals. For more information, visit www.oldnorthstatetrust.com or call 910-399-5470.
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