As we grow older, your health begins to decline. This can be positive or negative, it’s up to you to decide if it’s a side effect or a cause.
Many years of healthy lifestyle choices have gone into that state- but you can avoid some of them with good old-fashioned common sense.
We say this every year at the Met Council annual convention, but it’s true: You can realize a lot of your long-term health and happiness benefits by avoiding tobacco use, drinking enough water and taking steps to reduce body fat and sugar intake.
These things will help keep you aware of what’s going on in your body, keeping you from making poor choices that might harm you in the long run. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll discover a new health condition or symptom and find a solution with Met Council’s Go Red for Research program.
Women are typically less prepared for retirement than men
This can be due in part to the fact that women are typically more socialized into retirement lifestyles than men. In fact, in many countries, women are required to keep their jobs until they die.
In their role as wife and mother, women are expected to continue working after marriage and for years following children’s schooling. Even if a woman decides later in life that she would like to enjoy a simpler lifestyle, she will need to prepare for a long time being without a job.
This may be the last job she has spent money on, and she may not have the skills or experience to look for a new job or deal with the challenges of an emerging retirement infrastructure.
Women face different financial challenges than men
While men face challenges with health care costs, travel costs, and fun stuff they can do with their money (and some lucky people can afford to ignore some of these things for a year or so, but for the most part it needs to be planned) women face unique challenges that must be addressed.
These include: 1) the difficulty of finding enough money to live comfortably for a period of time; 2) the difficulty of establishing a financial plan in the middle of life’s changes; and 3) the difficulty of staying committed to a plan when it is made.
It is difficult enough when you are forced into spending your late-life years in an effort to save and maintain your savings. It is much harder when you are not even on the initial path out of poverty.
Women need to save more money for retirement
While men should save at a higher rate than the average man, women should save at a much more modest rate. This is especially true for women as we grow older.
Most women live in the present and it’s what they have for the future that matters most. Future savings looks good and meaningful when it is spread out over time.
Unfortunately, women tend to spend their money faster than men do. This can be problematic when you take into account that future savings looks less clear and meaningful as time goes on.
As we age, spending becomes even more of a problem for women because of our shorter life span compared to men. Spending money can be difficult while you are trying to make sure you are still enjoying life and taking care of yourself.
Women need to plan for a longer life
Despite the advances in medical and financial science, there is still a long way to go in addressing the challenges of age-related arthritis, heart failure, and other debilitating conditions.
As we enter our older years, health concerns increase. You may experience difficulty walking without a walker, having your doctor recommend cholesterol and diabetes screenings as you grow older is common, and doctors continue to speak about the importance of heart health as you age.
It is important to have a plan for how you will meet your needs during your final years. Having a set goal will help you feel secure and help you decide whether or not you are ready to die.
Women should consider working longer
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average woman in her sixties is prepared for close to $5,000 in savings and investments. This includes managing household bills, investing money and remaining active in social and financial circles.
While this may seem like an insignificant amount of money at first, it can prove invaluable down the road. For example, when she passes away or becomes incapacitated, she can easily leave some funds behind for living expenses or a replacement property as an inheritance.
As the old saying goes: Where there’s money, there’s sex. That’s not a bad thing- most people would argue that sex is one of the more important activities a person should have every now and then.
However, with the high cost of sex today (high quality at low quality), more people are staying faithful on a budget than ever before.
Women should focus on income sources
This may seem odd at first, but there are important sources of income for women parallel to men’s sources of income. Women should focus on income sourcesFemale
Like men, women can work from home models, online marketplaces, and standard retail jobs to earn money. Unlike men, women can also sell things online or in person which adds another level of complexity.
Standard retail jobs are great as they often pay well and people are usually online marketplaces or phone apps that you can use. The only downsides are that people have to be quiet and that people who are not in the same situation need to pressure them into hiring them but do not want to hire them because they do not have a job is tough.
Women should consider asset allocation
Asset allocation is a strategy that involves placing a larger amount of money into different stocks and funds than you would in funds focused on cash alone.
As the name suggests, it involves combining your savings with other assets like investments. In doing this, you ensure your savings are fully invested in the right things at the right time.
You also take into account the possibility of capital growth (i.e. inflation) which might increase the value of your savings. This is part of having a strong retirement plan.
Women should consider tax implications
When you make major financial decisions, such as buying a house or opening a new bank account, the IRS can charge you with tax implications. You need to consider whether your income is high-income or low-income.
If you purchase a house in the middle of the housing market cycle, you would be subject to higher home values and increased taxes. If you bought during an slower period of time, you would save money in property taxes over time.
You also need to consider gift and estate tax implications when making major financial decisions. If you are going to die without passing these gifts on, then there are no tax implications.
If someone is going to live alone and not need a roommate, then they can avoid both gifts and estate tax implications. These issues should be considered when planning for retirement.