Women are taking a greater role in household money matters, according to a new report by Allianz Life. But despite this, many women face the prospect of an underfunded retirement.
In the study, 51% of women said they are the “chief financial officer” of their household. When it came to managing finances, 53% said they hold “a great deal of responsibility” or “all of it.”
Nevertheless, signs indicate that women face unique challenges on the retirement planning front. Rising life expectancy, lower lifetime earnings, and reduced savings all contribute to a significant retirement income gender gap, reports Prudential Research.
Sure, these challenges may seem considerable. But the good news is you can do many things to strengthen your retirement security and financial confidence.
Confident decisions start with being well-informed. So, as you plan for your retirement, it’s important to understand the challenges facing you and other women today. Here’s a quick look at some common issues that will likely come your way. Read More
Virtually everyone understands that money doesn’t grow on trees. But what about planning for retirement? If recent research gives any indication, many Americans may be coming up short. In the 2017 Retirement Income Literacy Quiz – courtesy of The American College for Financial Services and the New York Life Center for Retirement Income – most quiz-takers received barely-failing or below-failing grades.
To measure retirement literacy, the test comes with two options: a six-item questionnaire on key retirement planning areas, and a more comprehensive test with 38 questions. With retirement literacy and retirement planning success being closely linked, you may want to check out the six-question quiz yourself to gauge your own retirement readiness.
So, what exactly did these questions ask? And how did Americans fare in their retirement knowledge? Let’s delve into the data now. Read More
Like everything else we do, saving for retirement involves risk analysis. We might not think about getting in the car to go to the grocery store, or even booking our dream vacation to hike the Inca Trail in Peru, as particularly risky decisions. But there are still elements of risk involved in every choice we make.
Your risk tolerance will help to you maximize and protect your retirement savings when you make sound choices. As you save and near retirement, your risk tolerance should change, adapting to your financial and income needs. In order to manage your retirement planning effectively, you need to understand your risk tolerance, grasp your financial needs in retirement, and make effective decisions about your savings and asset allocation.
Overall, you should be ready for a “smooth” financial transition into retirement – when you stop earning a full-time salary or business income, and start drawing on the savings you accumulated over many years. Working with a financial professional will help you meet your retirement income and financial goals, like the independent financial professionals at SafeMoney.com.
Let’s go into more detail about risk tolerance and why it’s so important. Read More
You’ve heard it before: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Through all stages of our personal and financial lives, we know there will inevitably be twists and turns. The market goes up, the market goes down. But there are safer routes than others for our money. While there’s no foolproof Waze app for retirement savings and investment, there are directions we can take—and avoid!
First, Let’s Look at Your Withdrawal Rate.
Two key players in the viability of your financial plan for retirement are the size of your retirement nest egg and the pace at which you plan to spend it. This is your withdrawal rate. After putting in the time and consideration to determine the magic number for your retirement and your intended rate to spend it down, you may have reservations about your actual investment portfolio and whether it will perform as expected to sustain you over time.
Since no one can say how long you will live, our lens of The Rule of 100 helps add perspective to this all-important strategy of making sure your retirement income will last. Read More
The stock market has been surging to new highs. For the first time ever, the Dow Jones exceeded 20,000 in January. Then on the heels of President Trump’s first address to Congress, it charged ahead yet again. The Dow posted a 300-point jump, closing at over 21,000 on Wednesday, March 1. These gains come at a time when market volatility has also been on the decline. In early February the CBOE Volatility Index – more commonly known as the “investor fear index” – showed investor concerns on the decline.
However, even as the market goes up many people still worry about their investments. What will the market do next? Do they own too many stocks? When the market goes down, will it be just be a spill, a correction, or a crash? For that matter, do they have too much money in other risky, market-based investments?
For people close to retirement, this brings up an important question. Should you stay with your current portfolio allocation mix, or is it time to move into a safer strategy? Read More
When it comes to lifestyle, it can be said that we have “two” lives – or rather two different life phases. The first phase is the working years, or when we work for a living. The second phase is retirement, or when we can choose to stop working, should we desire to, and do what we want. From volunteering or spending time with family to social gatherings, vacation getaways, gourmet dining, or personal luxuries, there’s no shortage of ways we can enjoy our time in retirement.
However, many Americans who are retired or nearing retirement face unique barriers – financial challenges which can keep them from enjoying the lifestyle they worked hard for. Preparation is key, so the importance of planning ahead can’t be overemphasized. Here’s a quick look at some common financial challenges to account for. Read More
Chances are you have heard of “safe money” at some point. From financial talk shows and radio commercials to television broadcasts and retirement seminars, it’s a concept that is all over the place. “Safe money” is commonly defined as the money you can’t afford to lose.
But for those of us approaching retirement, what does that mean in real-world terms? Many advisors explain safe money in investment terms. For example, it could mean discussion of “safe money investments,” or vehicles with less exposure to market volatility.
A downside with this approach is its investment planning focus. We have discussed how retirement planning should emphasize monthly income over asset values in its goal-setting. After all, retirement is a life stage in which we draw on a nest egg and other income sources for income – wealth we have accumulated over many years for this timespan. So, when discussing “safe money” in retirement, we shouldn’t frame it in terms of only the possibility of money losing value. Read More
In the past, we’ve covered some of the financial challenges seniors are likely to face in retirement. In turn, these hassles have played a role in shaping Americans’ retirement expectations. One of the growing trends is post-retirement employment.
At present, many people have a shortfall in retirement funds. For instance, the Boston College Center for Retirement Research found many Americans were greatly underprepared. According to the center’s data, as of 2013 half of American households didn’t have enough money to sustain their current standard of living in retirement.
Despite this challenge, many Americans believe working longer will help cover the shortfall. This belief is increasingly giving way to a new expectation: that post-retirement employment in itself is enough to make up for not having a retirement plan. But the truth is many factors can unbalance this approach and lead to unnecessary financial hardship. Read More
In a prior blog, we’ve covered what a dream retirement lifestyle may look like. Other discussions have centered on the importance of planning for retirement or the array of retirement vehicles available. But what about the process of retirement planning itself?
Retirement planning isn’t limited to just people and their advisors. When someone reaches retirement age, support networks become important. Responsibilities shift. Family members are actively involved in their parents’ caretaking. Or they may take on the role of caretaker for their parents. Read More
We’ve already covered how the retirement landscape in America is changing. One contributing factor is the changes being made to defined-benefit pension plans. In the private sector, defined-benefit pensions simply are disappearing. According to Towers Watson, over the last 15 years there has been a big decline in the number of largest American companies offering new hires defined-benefit pensions. That percentage took a 36-point nosedive from 60 to 24 percent.
There also has been pressure on defined-benefit pensions in the public sector. In mid-June, the Obama administration announced it would be looking at ways to cut benefits in multi-employer private pension plans. Over 10 million people are covered by about 1,400 multi-employer plans. It’s been estimated around 1 million of those individuals would run out of money in the coming years. Hundreds of thousands of retirees would be affected with the benefit cuts. Read More