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Planning for Women
When it boils down to fundamentals, planning for women is not much different than planning or men. After all we share common goals:
- wealth maximization,
- risk minimization
- cost containment.
Both ought to strive for an optimal nvestment mix and both should start investing or retirement at an early age to take advantage of compounding. So, with regard to investing, there is no difference between genders and here is no special need that women have. Yet, unlike men, women face many unique ssues that most men don’t.
Women's life histories and the way they interact with employer-sponsored benefit plans, individual savings and insurance plans, Social Security, and other social safety net programs often create financial shortfalls. High divorce rates and the high probability of widowhood also have a substantial impact on the financial circumstances of women.
Some of the challenges women face:
- Shorter and interrupted working careers
- Retirement systems that penalize women for temporary absence
Some startling statistics about women and
retirement than do men, because women are less likely to have income
- Women rely on Social Security for a larger part of their income in
from their own pensions than men (21% of women vs. 42% of men) '
and their pension benefits are less than half of men’s’ on average.
- Nearly 20% of unmarried women 65 and older live below the poverty
—women working full-time are still earning only 76% of what men earn
- Women need more retirement income but they usually have less
for an equal job.
- Estimates suggest there are around 23 million unpaid care providers
(for children or elderly parents) in the U.S. Seven in ten are women.
Facing the Challenges
Because of the unique set of challenges that women encounter, planning is more important than ever. From the individual’s perspective, the steps are fairly obvious:
- Get involved in the household finances and get informed
- Take advantage of employer sponsored plans
- Don’t have a corporate retirement plan—start your own individual
raising your children
- Explore the use of spousal IRA’s when you are out of the workforce
- Establish your long term goals (future income needs, time horizon, etc)
- Determine a target asset amount
- Save lavishly for yourself
- Identify an appropriate investment policy
- Invest soundly and monitor progress on regular basis
- Update your portfolio as your life changes or as you approach retirement
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