Retirement planning for women

Retirement planning for women

Preparing for retirement is not the same for women as it is for men. Here are a few ideas on how to save to ensure your ideal post-work life.

Ever since their entry in greater numbers onto the job market, women have juggled professional and personal obligations, which has sometimes left them little time to plan for their future.

It should come as no surprise that many women worry about their retirement, a subject often relegated to the bottom of their list of priorities.

Why is retirement planning different for women?

Quite simply because a woman’s situation is very different from a man’s. For example:

Life expectancy

Statistics show that women live longer than men. In Canada, life expectancy is 84.1 years for women and 80 years for men.

These additional four years mean that women must save more than men if they don’t want to be left short during retirement.

Pay inequality

Despite the narrowing gap between women and men’s wages, it is still the case that women earn 13.3% less per hour than their male colleagues.

Not only is it more difficult to save on a lower income, but the return on investments must be higher to maximize retirement funds.

Fewer years in the job market

What with maternity leave and spells away from paid work to care for children and aging parents, women’s careers are often curtailed or even put on hold.

Taking career breaks to devote time to the family comes at a price: less time in the workplace means less time and income to save for retirement.

Single women

It is often said that twosomes are better than onesomes and that’s certainly the case when it comes to finances since shared living expenses leave a couple with more money to put towards retirement.

And yet, Statistics Canada shows that more and more women live by themselves, whether due to divorce, separation or widowhood.

When living alone, responsibility for retirement planning rests entirely on one set of shoulders.

How to plan for retirement, starting now

Despite the realities women face, there is no such thing as bad timing when it comes to taking action … whatever your age.

Take charge of your own retirement planning

Do not leave your future in someone else’s hands.

Only you know how you envision your retirement, so only you can customize a plan that enables you to achieve your goals and meet your needs.

Trust yourself; you are the best person to take control of your financial destiny.

Aim for peace of mind

Construct a retirement plan that will provide peace of mind once you’ve left the workplace.

Don’t let fear dominate your financial actions and decisions.

Mission: diversification

The guiding principle for investment is diversification, which means spreading savings across risk levels, locations and business sectors.

Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. Explore the whole spectrum of investment plans and funds on offer to line your retirement nest.

Think beyond the risk

You know that you have to put more aside than men for a comfortable retirement.

If you have taken time out from the job market or if your income is not as high as you would like (we can see the hands going up here!), you must explore all possible avenues in order to maximize your savings.

This includes reviewing your budget or making your investments a priority over paying off your mortgage.

You don’t have to do it alone

Consider consulting an advisor to help work out a retirement plan that allows you to meet your retirement ambitions.

Advisors are financial professionals whose skills go way beyond the realm of investments.

An advisor will make a thorough analysis of your needs, work out how much you need for your retirement and, above all, will come up with savings strategies to ensure you meet your goals.

There is no doubt about it, an advisor can offer precious help when it comes to planning a secure retirement.