By Caroline M. Friedrich, CPA, CFP®
Gender equality in the workplace, and in society in general, has made great strides in recent years. But there’s still more work to be done, especially when it comes to retirement. Women continue to face unique challenges that men (on average) don’t have to overcome. While it’s true that women today are better educated and have more career opportunities than before, they still consistently earn less than men. (1) This wage gap means that saving for retirement is more of a challenge for women than it is for men.
Women are also more likely to live longer than men. (2) This means they will need to have enough retirement funds to live on for a longer period of time, possibly decades, which also leads to higher healthcare costs. (3) Considering these factors, it’s understandable that women are worried about their retirement! The good news is that these obstacles are not insurmountable. Here are the top three retirement goals our female clients have—and recommendations for how to make them a reality.
1. Financial Security
Because of the specific difficulties women face in saving enough for retirement, we understand that most women’s priority for their golden years is to feel secure about their finances. After working hard for decades, you want to know that your retirement savings aren’t going to run out in your lifetime.
Accordingly, we help women strategize the best ways to save more for retirement as well as investment allocations to generate long-term income. A comprehensive retirement plan that accounts for a variety of possibilities (such as the need for long-term care or increased medical expenses) can help you sleep easier knowing your financial needs will be taken care of.
2. A Trusted Financial Advocate
Because many women must prepare to spend at least some of their retirement alone, we understand that it’s important to develop a relationship with a trusted financial advocate. A financial advocate will be there to help evaluate the best options to reach your financial goals and navigate new scenarios as you experience life’s changes.
Although you may feel overwhelmed or concerned about your long-term security, we believe that women can still achieve the retirement they envision with the right knowledge and strategies. A trusted financial advocate may be the missing piece you need to help you get there. With the right financial partner, you’ll know you have someone you can go to with all your financial questions down the road—no matter how big or small.
3. A Strong Community
Of course, retirement isn’t just about having enough money in the bank to quit work. It’s a time to relax, learn more about yourself, and begin a new chapter in life (a chapter that could last 20-30 years). But many women fear loneliness and aimlessness in retirement. Once retired, it can be difficult to replace the connections that came easily during your working years.
Retirement can be a difficult transition for even the most independent of women. The good news is, surveys tell us that the majority of women dream of an active retirement, (4) which provides ample opportunities to develop strong connections with others. Whether you plan to travel the world, spend more time with family and friends, pursue hobbies, or volunteer in your community, there are plenty of ways to surround yourself with like-minded people no matter your budget.
To get the most out of your golden years, we recommend making connections either through social media groups or community groups so you have people to call on when times get tough. With a strong community, you can ensure your retirement years are some of the best and most vibrant years of your life.
We’re Here to Help
The retirement years are one of the most important and hopefully enjoyable times in one’s life. But this stage of life also comes with unique challenges, especially for women. We at Nalls Sherbakoff understand these challenges and how to overcome them. Your retirement journey may be unique, but you don’t have to walk it alone. We would be honored to partner with you and help you start taking steps to prepare for this time financially, emotionally, and mentally. To get started, set up a complimentary appointment so we can see if our services are the right fit for you by calling us at (865) 691-0898 or contacting us online.
Caroline Murphy Friedrich is a financial advisor with The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC, an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. With over 12 years of experience in the financial industry, Caroline is dedicated to helping her clients make informed, long-term financial decisions that add value to their lives and positively impact future generations. Caroline has deep experience in accounting, having spent the first decade of her career as a CPA. Now she blends that expertise with her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification to design comprehensive plans that incorporate all pieces of their financial puzzle. Caroline is a fiduciary, putting her clients’ interests first as she helps them navigate complex issues and implement strategies created for their unique needs.
Caroline graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Accountancy with a concentration in tax accounting. She is a proud Knoxville native who loves to spend her free time with her husband and their two daughters. When she’s not in the office, you can often find her exercising, golfing, reading, or enjoying her friends and family. To learn more about Caroline, connect with her on LinkedIn.