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Midlife Women and Retirement Stephanie Sammons CFP

By the year 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth, experts estimate. Women also make most of the financial decisions for the family.

However, when it comes to planning for a secure retirement, women fall behind. Women also underestimate the new retirement reality and how it will impact them.

Not only are we living longer as women, but we need to be saving more for retirement. The average life expectancy for a 65 year old woman today is 87. Those of us who are in midlife could potentially live to age 100! This is primarily due to all of the advances in healthcare.

Here is where the new retirement reality sets in: as women we’re living longer but we’re not saving enough, and we aren’t going to receive the same level of benefits as our male counterparts.

Women continue to earn 80% of what men earn for the same jobs and careers. This is known as the ‘gender pay gap’. This pay gap has some ripple effects. Because we earn less as women, we pay less into social security. That means our social security benefit will be less.

Also, by earning less and/or being out of the workforce to care for children or elderly parents, we don’t sock as much retirement savings into our company or individual retirement plans.

The other major challenge we have as women is that because we are living longer, our health care expenses will be higher toward the end of life.

The irony of this retirement reality check is that many women have a goal of retiring early. They are guessing at when they can retire, how much they are going to need, and how long their money will last.

If you retire at 55, for example, you will potentially need enough in financial assets and income sources to support yourself for 40 years!

In this episode, I dive into this new retirement reality for women and walk through what the challenges are. I also discuss having a ‘work optional’ mentality, and how REAL financial planning can help you understand where you are as well as how to get where you want to go!

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