This International Women’s Day we honor women around the world and recommit ourselves to overcoming the challenges women face. One challenge that women may face is planning their retirement – women tend to live longer than men but have less invested for retirement.*
There is a lot to consider when it comes to retirement planning. For me, it is hard to imagine slowing down. Since I was young my parents taught me to stay busy and I’m happy to do so! What does grab my attention is the amount of money I will need to have at the time I do want to slow down to work on my golf game. And as a woman growing up in Austria, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Peru and throughout the United States, I often wonder where I want to retire. Questions like these are where the list of retirement planning items can begin.
When planning for retirement, it’s helpful to break the planning up into 3 categories: when, how and where. Once you have an answer for each category then we can work backward. That is when the strategy of financial planning begins.
When? Retirement commonly happens between 62 and 67 years old.** As you near that age, you might be thinking about what lifestyle changes you need or want to make.
For example, you may have a mortgage, but you want to travel more – you could sell your house and have two smaller apartments, one by the beach and one by the mountains. You could be interested in changing careers and for that you may need to go back to school. Imagining yourself at your desired retirement age will help your financial planning. Let’s say you want to retire at 60 and you are currently 50. You will have to plan 10 years out, considering the many adjustments you might want to make.
Where? Is it just me or does everyone want to retire on an island or by the mountains? With enough time to prepare, the sky is the limit! For example, if you live in New York and want to retire in Florida, you could be thinking about buying land, a pre-construction or a 55-and-over apartment and renting it for extra income while you prepare for the time you are ready to move south. Make sure you look into the impacts of changing your place of residency. Or perhaps you are considering moving further away, such as to Mexico, Costa Rica, or another country abroad? All of them have advantages and disadvantages for non-citizens. Foreigners may not be able to own land and you must declare income in your new international country to the United States. Check with a lawyer and/or international tax advisor if you are planning to live out of the US.
How? Here is where the financial planning magic comes in. With a combination of retirement accounts, tax deferrals, rental income, future dividends, automatic savings and a good asset allocation, the rule of thumb is that at a rate of 7% your money has the potential to double every 10 years. As you near retirement, look at how your investments and savings are doing – is there anywhere you need to adjust?
If you are a woman between mid-30s and mid 60s you must have a plan that includes your time horizon, the place and an adjusted new budget with projected future inflows and outflows. A CFP® professional can help you with this and many more aspects of your retirement planning. Celebrate International Women’s Day and find a CFP® professional today at LetsMakeAPlan.org.
*Why Women Should Handle Financial Planning, US News, by former CFP Board chair Susan John, CFP®
**50+ Essential Retirement Statistics for 2023, Annuity.org