Ladies, You Don’t Have to Be a Statistic

retirement planning for the ladies

I came across a survey where two hundred forty-six women (age seventy and younger) who became widowed within the past five years were interviewed.

These women owned assets of $50,000 to $1 million. This survey was completed for the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and funded by the American Council of Life Insurers.

Among its findings:

  • 50% lost at least 50% of their income when their husbands died.
  • 45% of widows with $50,000 to $99,999 in savings and investments did not have an emergency fund prior to their spouse’s death.
  • 26% of the widows whose husbands were responsible for financial planning had to move to less expensive housing.

Ladies, we don’t have to be a statistic. All it takes is a decision to take a few minutes to learn something about money and retirement planning every week.

For instance, earlier this week, I jumped onto a LinkedIn Live Video where Jean Chatzkty interviewed Matt Carey of

I didn’t catch the title, but they were discussing lifetime income. For the average American, lifetime income will come from one of three sources.

  1. Social Security
  2. A pension from their place of employment
  3. A guaranteed lifetime income annuity (provided by an insurance company)

The topic of annuities was the focus on this interview, which of course caught my attention. I’m a longtime advocate of guaranteed lifetime income annuities. But only when they are strategically placed in a retirement portfolio.

The topic of annuities is extremely complex and confusing even to some advisors. How do you know which to choose and which features should you include?

To get you started on your learning path, Fidelity provides some great information about annuities and how they work HERE.

Key Takeaways from the Interview:

  • The majority of Americans have not run the numbers on how much they’ll need in retirement.
  • The financial services industry as a whole has done an inadequate job of preparing people for a financially secure retirement (you’ve heard me get on my soapbox about that!).
  • The amount we need for retirement is actually A LOT more than most people realize.
  • Annuities have a place in everyone’s portfolio.
  • Annuities can/should be used to cover at least a portion of your retirement expenses to protect you from never running out of money.

If you’ve never calculated how much you’ll need to retire, I encourage you to plug in your numbers on Vanguard’s Income Calculator HERE.

You’ll feel much more empowered when you have an idea of how much you’ll need.

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