Financial Planning For Women

Married vs. Single

an elderly married woman counts her moneyWomen worry about finances.

Financial planning for women, whether the women are married or single, replaces the worry with a solid plan.

Although all women need to plan for retirement, marital status does make a difference. One study found that 39% of married women have no idea how much money they have saved for retirement, while only 27 unmarried women don't know how much they have saved. The same study found other marked differences in the financial planning for women, all in favor of singles.

Women in General Have Retirement Problems

  1. We live longer. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone. The longevity of women is well-documented and is the topic of many jokes and comedy routines.

  2. If you live longer, you need more money.

  3. Women earn less than men.

    Even in this day of equality, all studies that examine income levels find that women earn less than men. We may make the same salary as the man in the next cubicle, but we are less likely than a man to land a job with a high salary.

Married Women Face Particular Problems
With Financial Planning For Retirement

But when it comes to retirement, married women are at a disadvantage.

  1. Married women usually take time out of their working-for-pay lives to bear and raise children. That time out of the workforce means time out of the pension plan.

    Single women usually work-for-pay like men work -- all year, every year, year in and year out. That long term service means that single women contribute more to pensions over time.

  2. Married women often depend on someone else for support. Women tend to think of men in terms of being good providers. The woman's job was to secure the good provider and then get on with the details of family life. When families divide up the jobs, women may look after the weekly budget, but men usually do the long term planning.

    Women often have no idea how a spouse's pension plan works or what her part in the plan is. She trusts that the man who brings home a pay cheque that covers the bills will be there to keep the wolf from the door when he retires.

  3. Married women face divorce or death of a spouse. A single woman makes her own plan and carries it out. A married woman is likely to face a time when the order of her life is drastically upset by divorce or death.

    In either case, even a good pension plan usually cuts the benefits of the missing partner.

    In such a time, the newly single woman has less money at her disposal, the person whose advice and wisdom she relied on is gone, and she is suffering a sense of deep loss. Depression swoops in and robs the woman of her normal powers of problem-solving.
All people, male or female, single or married, need to plan for retirement. But married women have special needs for financial planning. If you know a married woman, urge her to begin by starting to understand her current situation. If you are a married woman, I strongly recommend that you contact someone who specializes in financial planning for women.

Life is too short to spend it worrying about money.

If you have a story about Retirement Planning For Women, consider sharing it here.