Women born in 1953 turned 65 in 2018. Looking back, they confronted the turbulent sixties with gusto. They graduated high school in 1971, college in 1975, began careers, got married and raised their children. Like many, their lives whizzed by, perhaps never envisioning what retirement would be like for them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their life expectancy is an additional 5 years above their male counterparts. That’s 5 more years of vacationing, exercising, connecting and spending time with family, volunteering, reading, golf, and caring for others.
While each woman’s story is uniquely different, unfortunately, only about half of today’s women feel confident about retiring comfortably1. Women earn 79 cents for every dollar men make and are more likely to take time away from work to raise children or become caregivers for family members. It’s much harder to save for retirement, given these circumstances.
Strides – and great ones, at that, can define women’s lives
In 2018, history was made with 17 black women elected judges in the largest county in Texas. More women of varied ethnicities were elected to serve in Congress than ever before.
While a record number of women are succeeding in the public sector, there is a noticeable 25 percent decline in female chief executives in the private sector, according to Fortune’s 2018 list of women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.
As The New York Times’ Claire Cain Miller reported, “By making caregiving a women’s problem, companies avoid changing their cultures in ways that would give everyone more work-lie balance – for example, by limiting after-hours work or offering more flexibility about when and where work gets done.”2
Caregiving … for yourself, too
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter described it this way: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.”
Statistically, women live longer – there are about 11 million widows in the U.S. as compared to about 2 million widowers3. Women are also less likely to remarry after the death of a spouse than men.
With their longer life expectancies, women also face higher health care costs in retirement. According to Forbes, “lifetime health care costs for a 65-year-old woman living to age 89 will be $314,673, on average, compared to $267,395 for men.”1
When a spouse dies, income drops
“Death of a spouse” is #1 on the stress index scale and is considered one of life’s most devastating events. Not having a plan, or course of action, to counter this loss simply adds to the stress.
Long-term care is a major expense
Many individuals are also concerned about how much a nursing home would cost, if needed. Long-term care insurance is financial protection from loss or harm, and a transfer of risk from you to the insurance company. It is can be a viable solution to a what-if scenario when assistance is needed for the activities of daily living – eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and continence. While some may consider long-term care insurance an expense, it is, in fact, an investment in your future when purchased early enough, to protect your estate and not deplete it to pay for catastrophic care.
Speak with your Hefren-Tillotson advisor to work through life’s what-if scenarios in a holistic financial MASTERPLAN. Having a plan for all of life’s twists and turns will help you feel more confident about what’s ahead.