If you’re a married woman, you and your spouse are likely planning your retirement together. But statistically on average, women live longer than men. Does your retirement plan take that into consideration? As Forbes reported in March of this year, “according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, forecasted life at birth for women in 2019 was 81.4 years compared to men’s 76.3 years. However, by age 65, women are likely to live nearly another 21 years compared to men who squeeze in a little more than an additional 18 years. Those averages assume that the woman and her mate are the same age.”1
So, while no half of a couple likes to think about life after the other, it is a topic couples should consider discussing with their financial advisor. But what should that plan actually look like? Based on longevity research and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2, I think is wise to think about planning for a woman living an additional decade without her spouse.
But for women, what are the realities of this “second retirement” as Forbes and others are calling it? For starters, it comes later in life than typical retirement. And that’s a time when financial resources may not be as abundant as they were when first retired. Maybe friends and family are also less abundant than in earlier years. Perhaps health care concerns have increased. And all the previously shared tasks of daily living – the joyful and the mundane – now fall on the shoulders of one.
But the picture doesn’t need to be bleak. A little planning goes a long way.
A few tips:
• Couples, start the conversation with your financial advisor. What does it look like financially when one spouse outlives the other in later years? How can you plan to ensure the remaining spouse has what they need?
• And start the conversation with your adult children. This is imperative. Make sure your adult children understand and are read in on the plan for a second act retirement, what’s possible, and what your desires are for solo later years.
• Make sure you consider long-term healthcare and insurance and budget for it. As healthcare needs may increase with age, ensure you have comprehensive health insurance coverage. Explore long-term care insurance options to protect against the costs of assisted living or medical support.
• Engage in regular check-ins with your financial advisor now. Life is dynamic, and financial circumstances can change. We believe in building your longer-term plans today.
Anticipating a “second retirement” now can make the reality of it more manageable should it arise. Talk to your financial advisor to start planning now.
1 Forbes, March 30, 2023
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics