In the financial world, women often find themselves in very different circumstances than their male counterparts.
Some key differences:
On the path to financial security, women need to understand what they might be up against.
• Women have longer life expectancies. Women live an average of 4.9 years longer than men. This presents several challenges:
1. Women will need to stretch their retirement dollars further.
2. Women are more likely to need some type of long-term care, and may face some health care needs alone.
3. Married women are likely to outlive their husbands, which means they could have ultimate responsibility for disposition of the marital estate.
• Women generally earn less and have fewer savings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics within most occupations, women who work full-time, year-round, earn only 81 percent of what men earn. This wage gap can significantly impact womens' overall savings, social security benefits and pensions.
• Women are more likely to take career breaks for caregiving. Women are far more likely to take time out of their careers to raise children and/or care for aging parents. This creates several significant financial implications.
1. Lost income, employer-provided health insurance, retirement benefits and other employment benefits.
2. Less savings.
3. Potentially lower social security retirement benefits.
4. Tougher time finding a comparable job when reentering the workforce.
5. Increased vulnerability in the event of divorce or death of a spouse.
• Women also are more likely to live on their own. Whether through choice, divorce, or death of a spouse, more women are living on their own. This means they need to take sole responsibility for protecting their income and making financial decisions.
• Women are sometimes more consecutive investors. This can mean that their savings are not on track to meet their financial and retirement goals.
• Women need to protect their assets. More to come on this in the next column. As women earn more, become main breadwinners, and run their own businesses, it is vital that they take steps to protect their assets. Without an asset protection plan women's wealth is vulnerable to taxes, lawsuits, accidents and other risks associated with everyday life.
The above are the views of Amy Marty is a registered Representative offering securities through SagePoint Financial, Inc. She is an Investment Advisor Representative offering securities with Keeler Thomas, Inc. A registered investment advisor serving clients in 35 states, she has had 20 years experience in helping individuals and families meet their financial lifestyle goals.