Layin’ It on the Line: The disadvantaged retirement sector – women
The fact is both scientific and straightforward: Women live longer than men!
For several years, our family worked as volunteers for the food bank. It supplied those in need with weekly baskets of food and other necessities of life. It was very special to help, and we have numerous memories of that time.
Over the years, we realized that a change was taking place; many people (especially women) who volunteered morphed into those who needed the help and the food baskets. What happened?
To place the reason was not easy, and it was, in a sense, embarrassing for those who helped to become those in need. But remove half of the income and things changed. In most cases, a spouse had died, and with that event, income was severely reduced and a lifestyle was lowered. One woman, in particular, was a retired teacher. Her husband was also a retired teacher, and life was fine with their pensions and social security. She and her husband raised children and helped the church and their community, but things changed when he died.
I remember the day she came for food; she was in tears and needed friends. Of course, everyone helped, but the humiliation of that event shook her as well as the rest of us. How could this have happened? They had been retired for about 18 years. In the beginning, their retirement was more than enough, but with inflation, tax increases and covering for medical expenses leftover from a lowering of medical reimbursements, it all took a toll.
Millions of women just like her are in need and living in the shadows. Consider what retirement should be, to live well and with comfort; how many have seen their dream of the Golden Years turn dark?
Women, in general, make less money, translating to less money to put aside for retirement resulting in a more significant portion of the poverty population. And women live longer than men, which statistically translates to less available retirement income.
A recent report from the National Institute on Retirement shows shocking results regarding women in retirement. The report said that women in retirement are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished.
The reasons are apparent: Throughout a women’s working life, their income is lower and less money is contributed to Social Security for retirement.
The study found that women of all age groups have substantially less income at retirement than men. For women aged 65 and older, the report indicates that their average income is as much as 25% lower than men.
As men and women grow older, men’s income advantage widens to 44% by age 78. Consequently, women were 80% more likely than men to face poverty at age 65. Women aged 75-79 were three times more likely to fall below the poverty level than men.
The critical first step for women with their financial planning is to take control and be in charge of their financial future. Making sure your financial future has fundamental guarantees is the first step. Annuities may help provide that strong base. Here are a few benefits of using an annuity as the foundation of retirement planning.
Funds in an annuity accumulate as deferred, which may help it grow more efficiently. Many annuities now contain long-term care riders, which will assist in nursing home expenses. The LTC rider may be less expensive than a long-term care insurance policy. In addition, the right type of annuity (fixed) protects from loss (and risk), and the proceeds are fully guaranteed.
Lyle Boss is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.