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Jim Lentini: Women and retirement changes

Business Commentary

Posted: July 26, 2010 10:15 p.m.
Updated: July 27, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

It’s been said many times, “that the only thing constant is change.” In our ever-changing social and economic climate, we have to make sure we pay attention to the necessary changes that can greatly affect our future retirement assets.

In today’s world, women are expected to take on many different roles and will likely face unique challenges. Women need to take charge of their financial future and address changes, which require attention and discussion with a financial advisor.

Following are some of the planning women should address for their financial future:
* Greater earning potential: In 2009, more women than men had a bachelor’s degree or higher education. Their presence in both education and the business world allows for significant future earning potential.

* Workplace absence: Women may take time off from their careers to raise and take care of their family. This has substantial impact on their savings. Not only do they lose income when they take time off work, but also lose certain retirement benefits and ability to continue contributions.

* Household finances: Women make 53 percent of household investment decisions (Susan LeBourdais, Life & Health Advisor, 2008). This fact means there is a good chance that women are the financial decision-maker in their home.

* Evolving lifestyles: Women may encounter a transition from a dual-income household to a single-income household due to a life-changing event. Acquiring sole responsibility for retirement income can have heavy consequences for the unprepared.

* Independent provider: Women typically live an average of six years longer than men. If you are married, this statistic may have implications on your retirement plan. Ninety percent of women will have sole responsibility for their finances at some time in their lives. (A Woman’s Guide to Financial Planning, 2009).

These facts make it imperative that women work with a financial advisor for guidance to learn how to take charge of their financial future, and work to protect assets, make retirement plans grow and allow for contingencies that always happen in life.

As noted before, “make a plan, and work the plan.” No one plans to fail; only some fail to plan.

Jim Lentini, CLU, ChFC, IAR is president of Lentini Insurance & Investments Inc. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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