While feminism has dismantled the long-held belief that women can’t be independent or autonomous, the notion that females tend to be the more selfless of the sexes remains steadfast. While selflessness can be predominant in both genders, the majority of females are genetically inclined to be emotional and supportive providers – taking care of their husbands’ and children’s needs first. (I mean, seriously? Why is it always the mom that gets called first when their kid is sick at school?)
While this is an admirable quality, there are some risks associated with benevolence like not preparing for one’s own retirement. Confined to social norms, many middle-aged women expect their significant others to manage future investments so they can focus on the family. While there is no doubt that a woman can wear several “hats” in the familial and social dynamic, this often leads to neglecting her own self-interests, preferring instead to focus on the family’s well-being. This preconceived structure often leads to women moving into retirement with very little assets or assurance of the future.
According to the National Advisory Solutions, 76% of men are ready for retirement, but only 62% of women have retirement plans. The salary gap eventually turns into a savings gap, creating a long-term problem for women in the future. The lack of retirement preparation could subsequently lead to overwork and fatigue during old age.
While these facts may leave you feeling uneasy, take solace knowing that it’s never too late to make strong, profitable investments that will secure your future, and the global shift to cryptocurrency may be just the solution you’re hoping for.
Why Women Should Prepare for Retirement
You may be wondering why you should prepare for early retirement when your husband or children can include you in their insurance policies. But, as we all know, life doesn’t always go according to plan and (while it may be a daunting reality to consider), you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are 70-years-old and looking for a job at a fast food restaurant to make ends meet. (Not that there’s anything wrong with working in the fast food industry… if you enjoy standing on your feet in ugly crocs for 8 hours straight, serving burgers to stoned teenagers. Not exactly the “playing golf in the Hampton’s” retirement most people envision, but to each their own.)
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to make over-complicated plans to secure passive streams of income; you just need to develop a sound investment mindset and practice risk management.
The United States Department of Labor published information on Women and Retirement Savings that had the following key findings:
- Women often work part-time jobs, not qualifying in retirement plans. Only 46% of career women opted for retirement plans.
- Women have a higher chance of interrupting careers to take care of family members, so they work fewer years.
Here are some of the reasons you should prepare for retirement, NOW.
TLDR: Because a woman is more likely to work part-time jobs, take on the role as stay-at-home-mom, and take more time off work for caregiving, they are automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to saving up for retirement.
1. Potentially Higher Health Cost
Women, on average, live longer than men with possibly higher healthcare costs. According to statistics, women live longer than men by five years, and 77% of widowed people are women. Women outnumber men two-to-one by the age of 85, and they make up 81% of centenarians.
Therefore, women have a higher chance of ending up alone, so they should be self-reliant during their twilight years. Let’s put a figure down. In 2020, a woman will need around $155,000 for healthcare costs outside of living expenses, long-term helpers, and caregivers. If you have passive income sources generating approximately $10,000 a month, you’ll be set for the rest of your golden years.
2. Social Security May Run Out
Depending on what country you live in, there may be some unsettlement regarding social security coming to an end. That’s due to trillions and trillions of “borrowed tax-dollar money” reallocated to military, infrastructure, trade deals, immigration, schooling, etc. In fact, according to this article by CNBC, 71% of Americans are afraid of losing their benefits when it comes time to retire. To be fair, the article goes on to say that the likelihood of this happening is low, but it still remains a very real fear among Americans and plenty of other people residing in other countries.
3. Even if Social Security Doesn’t Run Out, It Isn’t Enough For Most
As the years pass and the global economy changes with the baby boomers now at retirement age, you may have noticed you see a lot more elderly people being greeters at stores or bagging groceries or working at daycares. Why? Because the amount of social security that the average person is collecting simply doesn’t pay the bills. According to this report, the average American receives around $1500 a month… which might be fine if you lived in a tent. Otherwise, unless you have a spouse or family to rely on to optimize that income, you most likely will need to supplement that with a job.
4. Financial Independence Improves Your Quality Of Life
I know the old adage insinuates that “money doesn’t buy you happiness” but it sure as hell helps! You’ve spent years working hard, raising a family, meeting the social and institutional demands expected of you for decades. Now is your chance to take care of yourself.
It’s never too early nor too late to prepare for retirement. Badass women live longer, so maximizing your ideal lifestyle by securing your post-work living expenses is essential to future comfort. You can venture into cryptocurrency or other investment options early so that you can enjoy your best life – whether it’s using those extra years and income to travel or to finally get that pool you’ve always wanted.
5. Emergency Funds
As mentioned earlier, sometimes life throws you a curveball. While we don’t like to think of anything bad happening to our significant other, friends, or children, it unfortunately can occur and it’s best to be financially stable so you can handle life’s tribulations. What if you suddenly had to be the sole caretaker of your grandkids? Or your husband was diagnosed with something that kept him from being able to work and support you? Of course it’s crappy to think about that stuff, but it’s also smart to consider every possibility and the best way to handle it.
TLDR: Due to depleting social security funds from the government, the exorbitant costs of living in the 21st century, rising healthcare costs, and the likelihood of running into more health problems in older age, it’s increasingly important to have financial backup as you move into your golden years.
Smart Investments for Retirement
At this point, I’ve probably been able to convince you of the magnitude that retirement holds. But it’s easier to recognize the potential problem than coming up with a solution for it. You can start with intelligent investments and passive income sources. The great thing about working on your financial independence and retirement fund is that you can also retire earlier than your peers.
Here are some of the preparations needed for your retirement fund:
1. Calculate how much money you need
Create a budget of what you believe your retirement days would look like. Consider your retirement priorities like your mortgage, bills, groceries, health insurance, and caregivers. The general rule of thumb is that you should prepare a retirement fund equal to 80% of your current annual income per year. For example, if you currently earn $100,000 annually, your goal should be $80,000 a year, which is then divided by 4%.
The strategy assumes a 5% return rate on your investments and a similar lifestyle to the one you have now. You can create a retirement investment portfolio early with a target of $2 million in mind and deduct 4% a year.
2. Prepare a diversified investment portfolio for retirement
401(k), IRA, Superannuation and other retirement funds are good options to have. However, if you’re planning to look for additional passive income for retirement, you can venture into stocks and cryptocurrency trading.
It would help if you considered maintaining a healthy mix of mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and other assets according to your risk tolerance, investment time horizon, and liquidity needs.
TLDR: Passive income and smart investments are the best strategies to ensure a broader financial portfolio later down the line. Now is the time to talk with financial experts and counselors on the best way to invest your money such as real estate, stocks, cryptocurrency, and life insurance plans.
Of the many hats a woman has to wear, being proactive regarding retirement HAS to be one of them. If you haven’t started, don’t panic! There’s no time like the present to start preparing for your future.