While both men and women face challenges when it comes to planning for retirement, women often face greater obstacles.
Women, on average, live longer than men. However, women’s average earnings are lower than men, according to a recent article in “Investment News,” in part because of time taken off to raise children. What this means is that on average, women tend to receive 42% less retirement income from Social Security and savings than men.
The combination of longer lives and lower expected retirement income means that women have a greater need for creative financial advice and planning. The problem is finding the right advisor, one who understands the special needs and challenges women face.
A majority of women who participated in a recent study said they prefer a financial advisor who coordinates services with their other service professionals, such as accountants and attorneys. They want explanations and guidance on employee benefits and social security claiming strategies. They want advisors who take time to educate them on their options and why certain ones make more sense. Yet many advisors do not offer these services.
Men tend to focus on investment returns and talk about beating an index. Women tend to focus more on quality of life issues and experiences, on children and grandchildren, on meeting their goals without taking undue risk.
If your financial advisor doesn’t understand you and what’s important to you, it’s time you look for someone who does.