Why Women Need to Be Financially Planning for a 100-Year Life
Let's consider a few facts: On average, women live five years longer than men. In fact, 77 percent of people who are widowed are women. Furthermore, by age 85, women outnumber men two to one, and the majority of centenarians—a staggering 85 percent—are women.
Why are these facts important? Because while longevity needs to be a factor in everyone's retirement planning, it's especially critical for women, according to an eye-opening Merrill Lynch report titled Women & Financial Wellness.
The reality is that women are more likely than men to be alone and financially self-reliant in their later years. In addition, women may wind up spending some of their nest egg on a partner's health or end-of-life care costs, further straining finances if they're not adequately prepared. And speaking of not being adequately prepared…
While more than half of women (64 percent) say they'd like to live to 100, the unsettling counterpoint to that goal is that 60 percent of women fear they'll run out of money if they actually experience such longevity. But that's not the worst of it. Forty-two percent of women are afraid they will run out of cash by age 80. And they may well do so: The typical retirement costs about $738,000, says the Merrill Lynch report, yet (and here's the most startling point) just 9 percent of American women have $300,000 or more saved. Nine percent. That's a gigantic shortfall. On multiple levels.
This is why it's so very important to read the tips and insights below from two leading voices on women and money: Lorna Kapusta of Fidelity Investments, and Carey Shuffman, director and head of the Women's Strategic Client Segment for UBS Global Wealth Management USA. Both weigh in on the importance of planning thoughtfully for a 100-year life and what women can and should start doing (
yesterday) right now.