Some may leave their future to chance but in the world of finance, the effects of the “confidence gap” can be apparent.

Women and College

The reason behind this disparity doesn’t seem to be a lack of education or independence. Today, women are more likely to go to college than men. So what keeps them from taking charge of their long-term financial picture?3

One reason may be a lack of confidence. One study found that only 48% of women feel confident about their finances. Women may shy away from discussing money because they don’t want to appear uneducated or naive and hesitate to ask questions as a result.4

Insider Language

Since Wall Street traditionally has been a male-dominated field, women whose expertise lies in other areas may feel uneasy amidst complex calculations and long-term financial projections. Just the jargon of personal finance can be intimidating: 401(k), 403(b), fixed, variable. To someone inexperienced in the field of personal finance, it may seem like an entirely different language.5

But women need to keep one eye looking toward retirement since they may live longer and could potentially face higher healthcare expenses than men.

If you have left your long-term financial strategy to chance, now is the time to pick up the reins and retake control. Consider talking with a financial professional about your goals and ambitions for retirement. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if the conversation turns to something unfamiliar. No one was born knowing the ins and outs of compound interest, but it’s important to understand in order to make informed decisions.

Compound Interest: What’s the Hype?

Compound interest may be one of the greatest secrets of smart investing. And time is the key to making the most of it. If you invested $250,000 in an account earning 6%, at the end of 20 years your account would be worth $801,784. However, if you waited 10 years, then started your investment program, you would end up with only $447,712.

This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent any specific investment or combination of investments.

1. AssociatedBank.com, May 18, 2023
2. TransAmericaCenter.org, 2023
3. Statista.com, 2023
4. Bankrate.com, April 10, 2023
5. Distributions from 401(k), 403(b), and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Tips and strategies for women approaching retirement to ensure a smooth transition.

Retirement is a significant transition, and it can bring both challenges and opportunities for women who have spent many years focused on their careers. For women approaching retirement age, it is crucial to consider various tips and strategies to ensure a smooth and fulfilling transition. An elegant pivot from work life to a life of one’s own requires careful consideration. A woman retiring at 65 may live another two decades or more. That’s not only a long time to finance, it’s also a long time to figure out how to fill your life with meaningful activities.1

A Change of Identity

Retirement can change a woman’s identity, especially those who have worked in the same profession for many years. Exploring new interests and finding a new sense of purpose could involve taking on a new job title, pursuing a passion, or simply embracing new hobbies and activities. But you’ll enjoy your retirement more if you start thinking about establishing the new “you” independent of your career.

Addressing Your Finances

One of the first steps to take when preparing for retirement is to address financial matters. This includes reviewing your estate strategy, getting all necessary documents in order, and having contingency plans in place for the emergencies and the unexpected. Consider meeting with a financial professional before and after retiring to help establish that the appropriate steps are being taken.

Pivot to a New Career

For women concerned about their savings or Social Security benefits, considering part-time work, working from home, or starting a small business can provide income and social interaction. You have the choice here to ease into retirement while still keeping active and engaged. The Department of Labor says that women are more likely to work part time in retirement. Many part-time jobs may not have retirement plans, making it necessary to plan accordingly.1

Another option for women is volunteering. Many miss the engagement and challenge of the workforce, and volunteering allows them to dedicate their time to helping others while gaining personal fulfillment. Volunteering can be a way to stay connected to the community while making a difference.

Now that you have the time, why not try something new? Taking classes is also a way for women to continue learning and growing in retirement. Many courses covering various topics are available online or in person, allowing you to explore new interests and stay mentally active.

Focus on Your Health

Beyond addressing financial matters and finding ways to stay engaged, women must prioritize their health in retirement. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting the right amount of sleep. But your overall health includes more than just your physical body. Social engagement is also essential for happiness and health. Even for natural homebodies, spending time with others can have a positive impact.

It’s essential to remember that adjusting to retirement takes time. Transitioning into retirement can be a significant change for women who have dedicated many years to their careers. However, with careful preparation and consideration, women can make the most of this new phase of life. By addressing financial matters, finding ways to stay engaged, prioritizing health, and exploring new interests, women can embrace retirement as a new beginning and enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It is normal to experience a range of emotions after retirement, but these feelings will likely change over time. Being patient with yourself and understanding that it is a process may help alleviate frustration

1. Dol.gov, September 14, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Preparing for retirement can look a little different for women than it does for men. Although stereotypes are changing, women are still more likely to serve as caretakers than men are, meaning they may accumulate less income and benefits due to their time absent from the workforce. Research shows that 31% of women are currently or have been caregivers during their careers. Women who are working also tend to put less money aside for retirement. According to one report, women contribute 30% less to their retirement accounts than men.1,2

These numbers may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to be a statistic. With a little foresight, you can start taking steps now, which may help you in the long run. Here are three steps to consider that may put you ahead of the curve.

1. Talk about money. Nowadays, discussing money is less taboo than it’s been in the past, and it’s crucial to taking control of your financial future. If you’re single, consider writing down your retirement goals and keeping them readily accessible. If you have a partner, make sure you are both on the same page regarding your retirement goals. The more comfortably you can talk about your future, the more confident you may be to make important decisions when they come up.

2. Be proactive about your retirement. Do you have clear, defined goals for what you want your retirement to look like? And do you know where your retirement accounts stand today? Being proactive with your retirement accounts allows you to create a goal-oriented roadmap. It may also help you adapt when necessary and continue your journey regardless of things like relationship status or market fluctuations.

3. Make room for your future in your budget. Adjust your budget to allow for retirement savings, just as you would for a new home or your dream vacation. Like any of your other financial goals, you may find it beneficial to review your retirement goals on a regular basis to make sure you’re on track.

Retirement may look a little different for women, but with the right strategies – and support – you’ll be able to live the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Transamerica.com, 2021
2. GAO.gov, 2021
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life, and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that today’s average 65-year-old woman will live to age 86½. Given these projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.1

Are you prepared for a 20-year retirement?

How about a 30-year or even 40-year retirement? Don’t laugh; it could happen. The Society of Actuaries predicts that an average healthy woman that reaches age 65 has a 44% chance of living past 90, and a 22% chance of living to be older than 95.2

Start with good questions.

How can you draw retirement income from what you’ve saved? How might you create other income streams to complement Social Security? And what are some ways you can protect your retirement savings and other financial assets?

Enlist a financial professional.

The right person can give you some good ideas, especially one who understands the challenges women face in saving for retirement. These may include income inequality or time out of the workforce due to childcare or eldercare. It could also mean helping you maintain financial equilibrium in the wake of divorce or the death of a spouse.

Invest strategically.

If you are in your fifties, you have less time to make back any big investment losses than you once did. So, protecting what you have may be a priority. At the same time, the possibility of a retirement lasting up to 30 or 40 years will require a good understanding of your risk tolerance and overall goals.

Consider extended care coverage.

Women have longer average life expectancies than men and may require significant periods of eldercare. Medicare is no substitute for extended care insurance; it only covers a few weeks of nursing home care, and that may only apply under special circumstances. Extended care coverage can provide financial relief if the need arises.3

Claim Social Security benefits carefully.

If your career and health permit, delaying Social Security can be a wise move. If you wait until full retirement age to claim your benefits, you could receive larger Social Security payments as a result. For every year you wait to claim Social Security past your full retirement age up until age 70, your monthly payments get about 8% larger.4

Retire with a strategy.

As you face retirement, a financial professional who understands your unique goals can help you design an approach that can serve you well for years to come.

1. SSA.gov, 2021
2. LongevityIllustrator.org, 2021. Life expectancy estimates assume average health, non-smoker, and a retirement age of 65.
3. Medicare.gov, 2021
4. SSA.gov, 2021
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.
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