Retirement planning for women

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Do women need different retirement planning services than men?  If you listen to the advertising campaigns of many brokerage companies and so-called “financial planners”, the answer is yes.  They offer “special programs” and “proprietary solutions” exclusively for women in a neatly wrapped package.

Women without partners do face different retirement challenges than men without partners.  Generically speaking, women live longer, earned less in their working years and have a lower risk tolerance than their male counterparts.  This does NOT mean, however, that all women have the same needs nor are the stereotypes above always accurate.

Take for example, two women who look identical on the surface.  They are the same age, recently widowed and both have two children.  They live in the same neighborhood and have roughly the same amount of income and money in the bank.  However, one woman is worried about not being a burden to her children, while the other is more concerned with leaving a legacy to her favorite charity.  Using the same plan for these two people does a disservice to both.

A financial plan for anyone – a married woman, a divorced man, a same-sex couple, etc – needs to take into account the person’s goals, fears, financial strengths, financial weaknesses and unique circumstances.

What’s most important when seeking help in developing and executing a financial plan is not having a branded process or fancy packaging, but how well the adviser relates to you, gets to know you as a person and can translate your needs into a customized financial plan that will help you meet your goals.

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