Women and Retirement
by Julie Grenness, in Australia
Initially, retirement planning requires financial planning. Shall any woman, married, or single, have sufficient funds for your ‘golden oldies’ years?
How much is enough? Figures vary, it depends on your funds available, your lifestyle plans, choices in your senior years, and your health. Experts agree that most people approaching retirement age, especially women, do not have enough funds to support themselves, so they may have to rely on a full or part senior pension.
Factors which affect a woman’s income can differ from a man’s, by the end of their life in the workforce. Women earn less, live longer than men, and so need to save more for retirement, or, plan a more modest lifestyle in retirement. Women are more likely than men to have taken time from the workplace to raise children, or care for aged relatives. They are also more likely to have been the main carer for any children from a relationship breakup.
Moreover, a lot of women aged in their mid-fifties or older, were not given the option of any superannuation, until later in life, or not at all.
Superannuation is the most popular way, in Australia, of saving for retirement. But superannuation was traditionally designed for a male, working full-time for over 35 years, who remained married to one woman for his entire life. Most women do not fit into this customary male patterns. This has implications for retirement planning.
Here are some questions:
1) Are you eligible for a full or part-time seniors’ pension?
2) What sort of lifestyle can you afford in retirement, as you can assume a retirement of 25 years, or more?
3) The average life expectation of a 65 years female is 25 years. Can you afford that?
4) Are you planning to retire before pension age? How does this affect any lump sum from your superannuation?
5) Are you planning to retire after the pension age?
6) How much money per annum are you going to need? What investments for any superannuation are worthy investments? (For example, term deposits, shares, property, superannuation funds.)
7) What if you wish to live a comfortable lifestyle, and leave money to your children when you pass away? (For example, can a million dollars last longer than you?)
8) How much money is enough for any retired woman in any circumstances?
9) Will you outlive your retirement savings?
10) Do you need a financial consultant or an accountant?
Finally, any golden oldies’ financial status can be affected by any change in circumstances, such as either health conditions, or by marriage, or divorce, or the death of a spouse. All food for thought, especially for women who are approaching retirement age.