A 56-Year-Old Male Is Found Semi Conscious By His Wife Retirement Planning for Women – Different than Planning for Men?

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Retirement Planning for Women – Different than Planning for Men?

At the end of the day, there isn’t much difference between a program for women and a program for men. After all, we share common goals: wealth maximization, risk minimization, and cost control. Both should strive to achieve an optimal portfolio, and both should start investing for retirement early to take advantage of compound interest. So, when it comes to investing, there are no gender differences, and no women have special needs. However, unlike men, women face many unique issues that most men do not. Here are the challenges (and solutions) we need to consider:

longevity

One of the challenges women face when it comes to retirement planning is living longer. On average, women lived 7 years longer than men (mortality rate was 79 years for women and 72 years for men). Many women face caring for their husbands later in life, but after their husbands die, they may not have anyone to take care of them. Because of this, women’s health care needs are likely to be significantly higher than men’s, making it much more expensive for us to prolong life. What does it mean? This means that not only may we need to consider products like long-term care insurance, but we also need to have more money in retirement than men, lest our funds live too long. Unfortunately, the challenges that come with it are even greater…

Income Gap

As much as I hate to admit it, it’s no secret that men earn women. Of course, this is true in general, and may not be true in all cases. But most statistics will tell us that the “gender pay gap” is persistent and well documented. In fact, the Labor Department claims that women earn only 76 cents for every dollar they earn in the same occupation. Although the gap is narrowing, women are having to work harder to catch up on their retirement nest egg than men.

So, assume that each gender saves 10%-15% of their recommended earnings over their working years. For a dollar, males will accumulate larger nest eggs than females, and at a faster rate. The difference in earnings rates between men and women is difficult to explain, but I suspect it will likely continue to exist as long as women are responsible for procreation and are primarily responsible for childcare.

Women must make a conscious effort to take charge of their own retirement planning early in their careers. While we can’t change the fact that men earn more than women, women can try (in part) to overcome retirement challenges by saving a higher percentage of their total income (aim for 15% to 25%) than men. The advice for all women is to maximize their contributions to qualified retirement plans and IRAs in addition to investing some of their disposable income after-tax.

maternity and welfare

There is no doubt that being a woman is a blessing. As women, we can experience biological wonders that men can never imagine. But when it comes to money, our biological blessings can be a double-edged sword.

The reasons are as follows:

Most women leave paid employment for at least a short time after giving birth, and many leave for a long time. Some women may never return to work, while others who re-enter the workforce may be forced to restart their careers. These gaps in women’s earnings history can lead to lower Social Security and/or pension benefits. Unlike men who get higher pension benefits because they work steadily throughout their careers.

In fact, the vast majority of men by age 62 have had 35(+) years of substantial income. On the contrary, only a few women have such a stable income today. Here’s how the yield calculation works. If a worker’s cumulative earnings are less than 35 years, Social Security requires that those years the individual was not working be counted as zero years. So, assuming a woman has only 25 years of earnings in her lifetime, her pension is calculated using those 25 years plus 10 zero years. This number is then divided by 420 to determine the AIME (Average Index Monthly Income), which reduces the average earnings. This problem affects very few men.

Here are some scary stats to consider:

o If a woman stays home each year to care for her children, she has to work an extra five years to make up for lost income, pension insurance and career advancement. (National Center for Women and Retirement Studies, 1997)

o A woman who takes seven years off in a 40-year career is expected to receive half the pension benefits of someone with 40 years of uninterrupted service. (Money Magazine, July 1997)

Investment Responsibility

Unfortunately, most women still pass the investment responsibility on to their husbands. A 1997 study by Dreyfus and the National Center for Women and Retirement Research found that 33 percent of female investors avoided making decisions out of “fear of making a mistake,” compared with 22 percent of male investors. Because of this fear, women often defer financial decisions and money management to men in their lives. (Journal of Financial Planning, 2000)

I can attest to this. In our investing practice, I meet too many women who never take the time to learn investing because they:

1) being too intimate with the process

2) lack of interest or

3) Suffering from the “Prince Charming” effect – expecting to be “taken care of” now (or in the future)

husband.

However, in the face of crisis (husband death/incapacity or divorce), too many women are forced to suddenly take charge of their finances, leaving them unprepared to handle their own financial affairs.

The average age at which women are widowed is 56, according to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research. Nine in 10 women will be alone in charge of their finances at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With statistics like this, I can’t understand why any woman would give up being involved in her financial future. There are no excuses, women need to be informed and involved. I don’t care if you are single, engaged, married, widowed or already working with an advisor – this is your future – shouldn’t you be actively involved in financial decisions?

good news

Despite all these negative statistics I just discussed, there is a positive one about women and finances. Once women start investing, they actually tend to do better than men!

A behavioral finance study by Terrance Odean (professor at the University of California) concluded that men’s overconfidence and hyperactive trading actually lead to lower returns on investment compared to women. Women tend to be more conservative (invest for protection and growth), while men invest for growth.

As a result, women surrender an average of 53% of their portfolios per year; men’s portfolios are turned over at a rate of 77% per year. This overtrading leads to poor performance. Here’s Auden’s findings: Married women actually make better returns than men — 1.4 percentage points more, and single women make even better returns — 2.3 percentage points a year more than single men.

in conclusion

So, what can we learn from this, and how should women plan differently for retirement? From an investment design perspective, we have established that women are no different than men. Each of us deserves a globally diversified portfolio designed to capture global market returns and minimize portfolio risk. But when it comes to building up your nest egg, ladies need to make some minor adjustments.

First, we must be aware of the situation and be involved. It’s nice to believe that our Prince Charming will always take care of us, but the truth is, at some point in our lives, we’re all on our own. So it’s best to be proactive about your finances and investments before you might be forced into crisis mode. Second, we don’t stop having children — why should we? ! However, this means that due to our biological gifts, we spend far less time in labor and, to add insult to injury, we get paid far less. How do you fight back? You save more… more! Finally, believe in yourself. Investing doesn’t have to be a mystery, we’ve established that women are better candidates for investing than men. So, as the Nike ad proclaims…”just do it”. Your future depends on it.

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