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Mapping the Basics: Retirement Planning for Women

Why Financial Planning Is Important

Mapping the Basics: Retirement Planning for Women

» by Shari Hooper, CSA®, Senior Wealth Advisor

Nobody has the same retirement plans. Some people may want to travel, others hope to pick up new hobbies, others may want to volunteer to help a good cause—it could be anything. Whatever that goal is, you need a proper income plan designed to support the lifestyle you want and minimize risk.

Obstacles Women Face When Retirement Planning

Women face different challenges than men when planning for retirement, some of which include:

Life Expectancy and The Wage Gap

Women, on average, live five years longer than men but earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn. This means that long-term financial planning requires more funding, but their earning potential is limited. Some of the elements impacted by the wage gap include:

Social Security Income

Social Security uses your 35 highest-earning years to calculate your monthly income benefit. For many retirees, social security is a significant income stream. Earning less during your working years limits the total amount you’ll receive in retirement.

Pension Income

Some pensions use your three highest-earning years to calculate your monthly benefits. Limited earnings during those three years depress your pension income in retirement.

Career Gap

Women are more likely to pause their careers to care for children or elderly parents, and these years of unearned income impact your ability to save and invest for retirement. Some don’t reenter the workforce, and those that return to work experience weaker career prospects because of the lost time.

What Women Should Consider When Financial Planning for Retirement

How Much Money Will You Need?

One of the biggest retirement planning mistakes is underestimating the amount you’ll need to save by the time you retire. Start focusing on your daily expenses and considering whether they will stay the same, increase, or decrease once you retire. Also, consider inflation and cost of living increases when calculating your future expenses.

What Are Your Sources of Income?

Once you calculate how much you’ll need, assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where are my retirement funds coming from?
  • Can I count on Social Security to contribute?
  • How much will I receive through any pensions or IRAs?

Once calculated, compare your projected retirement income to your projected expenses. This is a good indicator of whether you are on track to meet your retirement goals.

How Will You Cover Future Medical Costs?

If you’re over 65, Medicare will cover most of your basic healthcare costs, but you want to consider supplemental coverage to help pay for unforeseen healthcare expenses.

How Much Debt Do You Owe?

Take steps to eliminate debt before retirement. Accelerating mortgage payments to pay off your home, limiting credit card debt, and using cash for major purchases help limit debt obligations.

Tips To Increase Your Financial Health

Working to maintain your good financial standing into and through retirement is an ongoing task. Here are some tips on achieving financial security before retirement:

Regular Portfolio Reviews

Women entering retirement should value the safety of their principal wealth. Keeping a portion of your portfolio in growth investments helps maximize return.

Set Specific Financial Goals

Setting goals creates discipline and motivates you to follow through. Remember to consider a SMART approach to your financial goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Spend Wisely

Whether you’re entering retirement or just starting to plan, pay attention to your spending patterns. Being intentional about that is always the right strategy, since spending your principal too quickly will impact your quality of retirement.

Strategize Asset Withdrawal

Decide the order of accounts you’ll withdraw assets from during retirement. Many retirees prefer to start withdrawing from taxable accounts, followed by tax-deferred accounts, and finally, their tax-free accounts. Don’t forget to plan for required distributions; some traditional IRAs require that you start withdrawing at age 70 1/2.

Retirement Planning Strategies From Summit Wealth Partners

Summit Wealth Partners values you and your peace of mind. We provide sound financial plans that minimize risk. Our strategies for retirement include:

Long-Term Financial Planning

Summit Wealth offers financial planning designed to achieve your long-term financial goals. We’re committed to providing the highest standard of financial planning to our clients. Here are some of the strategies we use to maximize your portfolio:

Broad Diversification

No one knows which stocks will do well and which will perform poorly. That’s why Summit Wealth recommends broad diversification across a wide variety of companies, industries, countries, and management styles. Owning stocks in large and small companies helps balance your returns over the long term.

Risk Management

Risk and return are two sides of the same coin. Investments with very high return potential also carry an increased risk of losing money. Summit believes that avoiding losses is more powerful than picking winners—we’ll walk you through the risks of every recommended investment.

Disciplined Investing

Emotion-driven investing leads to poor decisions. Summit Wealth provides disciplined investing that limits risk and avoids impulsive action.

Wealth Management

Our comprehensive wealth management experts customize a personalized strategy that manages your financial affairs. Some of the services we provide include:

Disciplined Growth

Our investment committee combines an evidence-based approach and state-of-the-art technology to achieve long-term success. Managing risk while increasing your wealth is a staple of our company.

Safe Management

Our investment strategies use lower taxes, broad diversification, and planned rebalancing to attain higher returns at your preferred risk level. Our plans protect, preserve, and optimize your wealth.


We explain the what, how, and why of our investment strategies. Our team continually monitors your progress and keeps you informed through proactive communication.

Let Summit Wealth Partners Guide You Through Financial Planning for Retirement

For over 30 years, our primary goals have been to provide our clients with clarity and confidence while growing and managing their wealth. Our team of financial advisors offers the knowledge and expertise you need for proper retirement planning. Contact us today if you’re ready to take the first steps towards a healthy retirement.

Ready to start financial planning for retirement? Contact Summit Wealth Partners today and learn more about our retirement planning strategies.