4 steps women can take to help prepare for retirement

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Many men and women may approach money management differently and this difference can often extend to planning for retirement. While they still may have some of the same financial goals, women may face unique challenges and may not always have the same outlook or needs as men when it comes to saving for the future. If you’re not where you want to be on your retirement planning journey or are unsure where to start, don’t worry! Here are four steps women can take today to help prepare for the road ahead.

1. Understand the challenges

Saving enough for retirement can be challenging for anyone, but unfortunately, it can be even more difficult for women. On average, a woman turning 65 can expect to live until approximately age 86.8, meaning a potentially lengthy retirement with greater expenses. Without proper planning, you may not have enough income to last as long as you do. In addition, women face a wage gap, often taking more time away from work to care for children or elderly parents (sometimes simultaneously) and may have higher health care costs in retirement due to longevity. While these hurdles may feel overwhelming, understanding and preparing for them can help you diffuse the risks and determine the amount of savings you will need to meet your goals. Remember, the planning you do today will help determine how you live tomorrow.

2. Get involved

Traditional gender roles within many households continue to shift, including the role of the bread winner. And while men may still take the lead financially in some relationships, the 2022 UBS Global Wealth Management’s Own your Worth report reveals that the number of women who lead on financial decisions continues to rise. More specifically, 92% of women believe involvement in long-term financial planning can enable them to make greater impact in the world.

Since, on average, women are living longer than men, it’s crucial to be more engaged in long-term planning and ensure you have a well-thought-out retirement income strategy. If you’ve been hands-off up until now, there’s no time like the present to get involved. Take time to get up to speed on your current finances, educate yourself through online resources and seek guidance from a financial professional. Being an active participant in financial decision making can be empowering as you play a vital role in helping secure your financial future.

3. Envision your retirement

An important exercise in preparing for retirement is picturing who you will be as a retiree. Connecting with your future self can bring the importance of financial planning to the forefront and inspire you to take care of the person you’ll one day become. Help plan for your future happiness by writing down who you want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years, what your day-to-day life will look like, who you will be spending your time with and what activities you will be doing. By making the future less of a stranger and creating a detailed image of your life, you’ll likely become more of an advocate for your older self and take the steps necessary to create a retirement strategy that will work for you.

4. Find a financial professional you respect and trust

If you have yet to connect with a trusted financial professional, now can be a great time to find someone who can answer your questions, discuss solutions and act as your financial planning advocate. When you find someone who has your best interest in mind, you are more likely to make confident financial decisions that have a lasting impact. It’s important you feel open to ask as many questions as needed, have a clear voice in creating your retirement strategy and know that as life changes, you can update your plan as needed.

Remember, retirement planning is a team effort and you are an essential member of that team. Find someone who is in your corner and who will help you turn your retirement dreams into reality. Don't have a financial professional? We can help you find one

While women may face unique challenges when building financial security and planning for retirement, you don’t have to let those obstacles stand in your way. When you take steps to educate yourself, become more involved in your finances and form your team of advocates, you’ll feel more empowered to make the important decisions necessary to successfully shape your path to retirement. 

This information is brought to you by Athene — where unconventional thinking brings innovative annuity solutions that can help make your retirement dreams a reality.