Retiring from work: A women's perspective

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  A retirement-aged woman smiles as she paints in her home studio, enjoying retirement.

To save for retirement with confidence, it's important to think about when you want to retire and how you want to spend your time. Once you have your vision – or goal – you need a strategy to achieve it. Even if you've already started saving, it's important to regularly review your strategy and consider these five questions.

1. When do you plan to retire?

When you want to retire determines how many years you have to save. If a man and woman of the same age wish to retire at the same future age, the woman may actually have fewer years of earnings to save. Why? According to Statistics Canada, women have retained a disproportionate share of housework, childcare and eldercare, contributing to their heightened vulnerability to financial insecurity.1 It’s important for women to take this factor into account when developing a savings strategy. This could include working more years, saving more while working, coordinating with a spouse’s savings or simply planning to spend less in retirement.

2. How long might your retirement last?

In general, women live longer than men. The longer you live, the longer your retirement savings will need to last. This means your strategy should take a longer retirement into account.

Did you know? At age 85 or older the approximate ratio of women to men is 2 to 1.

- Statistics Canada: A portrait of the population aged 85 and older in Canada in 2016. 2017

3. How much risk is right for you?

Risk tolerance is one of the legs of a personal retirement strategy. You’ll want to be comfortable with your investments while ensuring they work as hard as they can. You'll want to avoid taking more risk than you need by determining what level of risk you are comfortable accepting and then balance it with the required risk necessary to achieve your long-term goals.

If you prefer having most of your money in cash and investments with lower volatility, you may be actually taking more risk – the risk you do not achieve enough growth to reach your long-term retirement goal. We can help you develop a portfolio that balances your long-term goals with your tolerance for risk.

4. How do you balance saving for retirement with other goals?

While retirement may seem further off than other goals, time is a valuable asset – so don’t delay saving for one goal over another. Instead, view your goals together.

A solid savings strategy includes solutions for both your short and long-term priorities. We are well-equipped to help identify solutions for managing multiple priorities in ways that complement rather than compete with one another.

5. Have you taken steps to manage unexpected events?

Every good plan requires contingencies for unexpected events, such as illness or job loss. According to Statistics Canada, women's economic position within the household has increased as evidenced by the growth of dual-earner families; women are also out-earning their husbands. Couple households have shifted away from a husband-dominated process to a joint decision-making process. Women now play a greater, if not primary role, in the purchase of large ticket items such as houses, automobiles, insurance and financial services.2 And with careful preparation and a well-diversified portfolio, we can help you weather unexpected changes that may come your way.

How we can help

Achieving the retirement you envision is a possibility. Your Edward Jones financial advisor can help you build a strategy to achieve it. Contact your local Edward Jones financial advisor today.

Important Information:

1 Statistics Canada 2018: Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

2 Statistics Canada: Insights on Canadian Society - Gender differences in the financial knowledge of Canadians, 2016