You understand the importance of financial planning, and making decisions to manage and protect your wealth so that you (and potentially your partner!) can enjoy your retirement for years to come. But an often overlooked fact when financial planning — and one that has a significant impact on the planning process — is that women statistically live longer than men. 

On average, women in the U.S. live almost six years longer than men: This is six more years that women may have to consider their financial needs and protect their wealth and financial well-being. Women also face persistent gender disparities that impact their wealth accumulation. 

By addressing these issues with strategic financial planning, women can be more proactive in building a secure future for themselves and their families in the years ahead.

Challenge the Gender Income Gap

Women earn less than men: In 2022, women earned an average of 82% of what men earned, and this unfortunately hasn’t changed much in the last two decades.

Because of this, women may find it more challenging to save money and build an emergency fund. When you have less income coming in, it can be difficult to create a financial safety net, which leaves you less financially resilient to unexpected expenses.

The gender pay gap also affects women’s contributions to retirement accounts. A lower income often translates into smaller retirement savings, which can potentially lead to less financial security during retirement years.

To challenge the gender income gap, women can advocate for financial and income equality by negotiating salaries, seizing career opportunities, and advocating for fair compensation. By challenging the income gap, you can enhance your ability to save meaningfully and plan for the future.

Narrow the Investing Gender Gap

Women have also been less likely to invest their money compared to men: historically, around 60% of US men invest in stocks, compared to 40% of US women. While this gender gap in investing is decreasing rapidly, women can overcome it by actively engaging in investing. 

Women typically tend to be more risk averse, prioritizing wealth preservation and security and preferring less volatile investment options. There is also a confidence gap in investing: research suggests that women may possess lower confidence in their financial knowledge and investment decisions. This low risk tolerance and lack of confidence can make women more hesitant to pursue investment opportunities and explore more diverse financial instruments. 

Interestingly, despite being more risk-averse and less confident, women on average have better-performing investments than men, with up to 1% higher investment returns. Women are more likely to buy and hold their investments, and they are more likely to remain patient and calm during times of market volatility.

By further promoting financial literacy tailored to women, and breaking down stereotypes that lead women to believe they’re less capable than men of navigating financial markets, women can take control of their investment decisions and take charge of building and growing their wealth.

Set Goals as Part of Financial Planning

Setting goals to achieve throughout the different stages of their lives can help women foster financial stability and resilience throughout their years. Goals can act as a roadmap to guide you in your journey and help you take control of your financial future.

  • Short-term Goals: Establishing short-term financial goals is the first step in constructing a solid financial foundation. Build your savings, establish an emergency savings fund, and manage your debt to grow your wealth. Incorporate a budget as part of your financial plan, to help keep you on track to reaching your goals.
  • Mid-term Goals: Mid-term financial goals can include career advancement, homeownership, and investing. These all provide a strategic avenue for you to continue to build wealth and long-term financial security. Mid-term goals may also include paying for higher education costs for your children, or potential caretaking costs – investment strategies can help make these goals attainable while still building and protecting wealth.
  • Long-term Goals: Long-term goals involve retirement planning and estate planning to preserve and protect your wealth. ‘Early retirement’ planning helps ensure a comfortable life in your golden years. ‘Late retirement’ planning can help address the need for extended financial security if you live longer and survive your spouse.

Financial Planning for Women

A tailored, comprehensive financial plan can help women ensure they’ll have the continued financial stability and security to navigate the years ahead. Women should have a financial plan in place that not only plans for the years with a potential partner but also the years where they may be on their own.

Retirement Planning

With pay inequality, women start their working years lagging behind men in retirement savings. Because of this, women need to be proactive and begin retirement planning early on; this can help them build a strong foundation over time for a secure and comfortable retirement.

Explore all retirement savings options available to you: Choose retirement strategies that are aligned with your goals, and make sure to contribute the maximum whenever possible to 401(k)s, IRAs, Roths, or other retirement accounts. By starting this process early in your working years, you can ensure that your retirement contributions are well-positioned to maximize long-term growth.

Investment Planning

Investment planning is the cornerstone of financial growth and security. Tailoring investment strategies to the unique needs of women is key to maximizing wealth accumulation. 

Build a well-rounded portfolio that includes a mix of different asset classes and investment vehicles. Diversification can help you mitigate risk and weather any market fluctuations. Align your investments with your long-term financial goals, so that your investments can continue to grow and help you build wealth over time.

Estate Planning

As the longevity of women increases, so does the importance of estate planning and wealth preservation. With careful planning, women can proactively manage their estates and leave a lasting impact on the financial well-being of their loved ones.

Creating an estate plan will help ensure your wishes are honored and your wealth is distributed according to your intentions. It’s important to prepare a will, assign a power of attorney, and outline your healthcare wishes. Consider trusts and other estate planning strategies to minimize tax implications and create a more seamless transfer of wealth.  

Planning for wealth transfer and inheritance is a thoughtful process that involves careful consideration of family dynamics; communicate openly with your family so they understand your wishes.

Insurance Planning

Women should plan for potential healthcare needs in the later stages of their life, particularly with longer life expectancies. Women who live longer will likely face higher medical expenses in their lifetime, as well as be more likely to need long-term care. 

It’s essential to anticipate your healthcare costs in retirement and the care you may need so that you can be better prepared for future uncertainties without compromising your financial stability. Make sure you understand your life insurance and health insurance coverage, as well as the long-term care options available to you. Developing a comprehensive insurance strategy can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.

Empowering Women in Their Financial Planning

Navigating the intricacies of financial planning can be complex, and guidance from financial advisors can empower women to make informed decisions about their financial futures. At Five Pine Wealth Management, we take a holistic approach to financial planning to help you reach your investment and retirement goals. 

We make sure we understand your needs, objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon so we can help you create a comprehensive plan that is custom-tailored to you and your unique circumstances. To see if we can help you, send us an email or give us a call at: 877.333.1015 today.