Retirement Risk

Gray Easterling
Gray Easterling

Most of us think living a long life is a good thing; and, for a variety of reasons, women have a better chance of realizing that goal. However, with long life comes certain risks, and those that live longer need to be aware of them. In the October 2015 Financial Advisor magazine, there was an interesting article outlining some of the possible problems that are associated with long life. According to this article, life expectancy for women is 81.2 years; for men, only 76.4 years. I don’t think this has much to do with science. I think the stress men incur convincing a woman that they are worthy of her lifetime companionship and then becoming a well-trained and docile partner in the marriage must have some bearing on longevity. Of course, the sooner the male accepts his role, the less stress and longer life he may enjoy. Because women live longer, they have a greater likelihood of spending large sums of retirement assets on a series of chronic illnesses. The incidences of diabetes and high blood pressure are about the same in both sexes, but women seem to suffer more form headaches, joint, back and neck pain. These illnesses require regular treatment.

The role of the wife and mother as caregiver—for children as well as aging parents—takes a toll. In many cases, the wear and tear builds over time and is accentuated by the tendency to ignore her own health needs as she cares for others. Historically, the effort required for these care-giving moments detracted from the wife’s own career path, which would result in less accumulation of retirement assets. Just based on personal observation, this trend may be changing slightly as women become more assertive in pursuing successful careers. Related to this problem is the historical income inequality between men and women. Again, this trend seems to be changing slowly, but surely. Note this positive side effect: women tend to save more than men, perhaps for fear of ending up alone or dependent, or maybe just from the joy of accumulating wealth and achieving success. As a woman in the workplace, consider these ideas:

• Start saving and implement plans to help you stay healthy.
• Invest more in education to stay relevant in the workplace.
• Maximize contributions to your company retirement plan.
• If married, take a role in the family finances.
• Make sure both spouses are adequately insured for life, disability and long term care as appropriate.
• Target the concerns that keep you awake at night and take steps to address them in a step by step agenda.

Finally, be aware that you cannot solve all the problems by yourself. Ask for and expect help when needed. Smile more and pray more.

Now that 2016 has arrived more quickly than I ever imagined, I think a good way to start the year is a lesson from John, chapter 1: “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe”. And, “ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor the will of man, but of God”. Best wishes for a wonderful and blessed 2016.

Although this information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, it cannot be guaranteed.  This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized tax, legal or investment advice.  FSC Securities Corporation does not offer tax or legal advice.  The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of FSC Securities Corporation. Financial Solutions Group is a marketing name.  Financial Solutions Group is located at 128 Versailles Blvd, Alexandria, LA  71301.  We can be reached at (318)448-3201. Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC.