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How retirement planning is short-changing women

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported how retirement planning is short changing women. The article has a number of interesting points:

1. A survey by MassMutual found that women’s retirement accounts were, on the average, just 2/3 the size of men’s. That is unfortunate because since women live longer than men, they need more money than men do to have a comfortable retirement.

2. About 2/3 of women between the ages of 75 and 84 live alone, making it more important that they have saved enough to see them through.

3. A college educated woman during her career, will earn almost half a million dollars less than a college-educated man.

4. 70 – 80% of financial advisers are men.

5. 7 out of 10 widows or divorced women leave the advisors their husbands used.

6. Many women do not feel like their advisers communicate well with them and try to encourage them into retirement-savings plans that fit well for men, not women. Interestingly, men and women, as a whole often have different ways of approaching investments.

In a blog posted here in February 2009, we reported how important it is for women to manage their estate planning as well as their financial planning. Since women are living longer, do not remarry as frequently as men, and often earn less, it is important to make sure that they have the necessary estate planning documents to be prepared for the future: a living trust, pour over will, and durable powers of attorney for finances and health care. If a woman had an estate plan with her spouse and now is widowed or divorced, it is important to have any existing documents reviewed to see if they need to be revised. It also is important to check on any life insurance policies, annuities, retirement plans, IRAs, etc. to make sure an ex-spouse or deceased spouse is not still listed as the beneficiary.

If you would like some assistance in reviewing or creating your estate plan, call us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation & Associates to schedule your free consulation.

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