Women historically have let men plan for retirement. The old rules have changed, but women still are searching for how they should navigate the path to post-work life. And that path is different than it is for men. In this Forbes Q and A “5 Retirement Planning Steps For Women,” Diane Bourdo gave some good advice on how to do this. Here are five retirement planning steps she recommends:
- Look within. Consider this question to jump-start thinking about your retirement experience: What do you want your life to look like in 10, 20 or 30 years? Do you want to work? Travel? Get more education? Will you be a caretaker? A volunteer? A mentor? Will you embark on a new career or creative project? How busy do you want to be? Who do you want to be to and for others? Who do you want to be to and for yourself? Spend some time really visualizing what you expect retirement to look like.
- Harness your strengths. With women’s economic influence on the rise, it appears investing is the next hurdle they are ready to jump. In 2015, Merrill Lynch found that just over 50 percent of women said they wanted to participate in making changes to their investment approach — nearly mirroring the 55 percent of men who said the same.
- Think about the type of advice you need. Enlist the help of a qualified, professional financial advisor. A lot of women serve as the chief financial officer for their families, so they like to have a hand in the planning process. Think about what tasks you should delegate, and what you should keep in-house.
- Know the risks, and plan accordingly. The easiest thing you can do to improve your financial health is to track your income and expenses. Are you under-earning or overspending? Some of both? Making small course corrections to your spending and retirement contributions now will have a far greater impact than large corrections you make later on.
- Keep the planning momentum going once you’re ready to start your second act. Here are a few to-do list items you should prioritize: Consider obtaining long-term care insurance; rollover your 401(k) assets into an IRA, and work with your advisor to create a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy; create a budget and spending plan, and make sure you have a solid cushion of cash reserves on-hand; and determine when to take Medicare and Social Security benefits.