Empowering Women for Retirement: A Financial Readiness Guide
Retirement is supposed to be a reward after many years of working hard while building your financial portfolio. Ideally, you will finally have the time to take as many holidays as you wish and be in the financial position to put your feet up without worrying about your monthly bills and expenditures.
However, retirement can be a scary proposition if you’re unsure of your financial position. These fears can be exacerbated by the gendered challenges women face when considering retirement. Women live longer than men, typically earn less during working years, and have significantly fewer retirement-related benefits than their male counterparts.
The challenges women face in retirement highlight the need for comprehensive financial readiness and magnify the importance of a robust retirement plan. This financial readiness guide is a great way to get started.
You don’t need to obsess over the amount that you save for your retirement, but you should have a good idea of how much wealth you’ve put aside to be used during your golden years. A clear idea of your retirement savings can help you identify shortcomings and take steps to boost your savings before it’s too late.
Work with a financial planner who can help you calculate your pension and identify areas of risk. There are many reasons why you may not have enough money set aside for retirement, but early preventative action can help you bolster your retirement savings by taking steps like:
- Increasing Your Contributions: Adjusting your budget to make larger contributions to your retirement can significantly improve your financial outlook in retirement. Even a small contribution increase can help you overcome high inflation and increased costs in retirement — particularly if you are self-employed and approaching retirement.
- Receiving Financial Assistance: There are dozens of assistance programs ready to support you in retirement. If you’re stressed about your savings, reach out to groups like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Home Energy Assistance Program.
- Opening High-Yield Savings Accounts: You don’t want to take any risks with your retirement fund. This makes a high-yield savings account the perfect choice as you’ll increase interest and grow your retirement savings.
These options should be used in conjunction with an investment plan that is agreed on with your financial advisor. A well-trained financial advisor can help you make strategic investments in bonds and low-risk certified deposits. If you still have some savings left at your disposal, you may want to consider investing in other stable markets like real estate.
Real Estate Investments
Owning real estate can firm up your retirement savings and give you a project to work on in retirement. Investing in real estate for retirement will require an upfront contribution of cash and you may have to take out a mortgage to purchase a rental property to add to your portfolio. However, the benefits of real estate investment are significant and include:
- Inflation Protection: Real estate and rental properties are protected against inflation as properties usually appreciate over time. This can protect your buying power and give you the financial means to enjoy your golden years.
- Income Generation: Rental properties can provide a much-needed source of supplemental income. They may require some effort for upkeep, but most of the work can be outsourced to estate agents and contractors.
- Tax Deductions: If your portfolio property does depreciate, you can claim a portion of the losses back as a tax deduction. This protects you against loss and helps you reinvest to improve the upkeep of your property.
Real estate does come with a high entry cost. However, real estate is a particularly powerful portfolio piece for women. As a woman, your life expectancy is longer than men’s. This means you need to protect against inflation and invest more of your financial resources into assets that generate income like office spaces and homes.
Early retirement planning is always a good idea. Even if you aren’t ready to start making contributions, knowing that a plan is in place can boost your financial confidence and help you budget for future expenditures.
A clear retirement plan is particularly important if you want to retire early. The prospect of retiring early can be particularly enticing but, as a woman, you have to recognize that your elevated life expectancy can put a financial strain on your later years. You can mitigate some of this financial strain by saving up to 70% of your income for retirement and living a frugal lifestyle while your earning ability and potential are at their highest.
Retirement is supposed to be stress-free and rewarding. However, you may find that preparing for retirement is a confusing process. Simplify things by speaking to a financial advisor who can help you increase your contributions, identify financial assistance programs, and suggest investments like buying up real estate. This will secure your financial future and ensure that you have enough funds to live a long and prosperous life.
This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.
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