This is Not Your Mother’s Retirement

Women are redefining the face of their retirement, especially when compared to generations before.  In 2010, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that women comprised 47% of the total US labor force.  That figure is forecasted to grow to 51% by 2018.  Bye-bye glass ceiling. 

One result of this growing trend for women is that many are choosing to work outside the home longer than their mothers and actively pursue interests such as travel, volunteerism, and higher education.  Add increased longevity to the mix and it is not a stretch to understand that in addition to hopes and dreams for a healthy and happy life, living longer means retirement will cost more. 

Envisioning a future retirement and the costs associated with bringing your personal retirement story into focus can seem like a big task (not all that different from starting an exercise program, really).  As with any important goal the most important part is to write it down.  When you are ready to set goals and get results a financial plan is your “go to” document for all important financial decisions.  

The good news is that women are heeding the call for more active financial planning.  With more education and greater participation in management and professional occupations than ever before, women now also have more reason to learn about the value of personal finance and financial planning.   

Here are three important areas in the financial planning process that tie money to quality of life. 

1.  Don't Wait

  • Follow your dreams -- they know the way
  • Start now -- don't assume financial planning is for when you get older.

2.  Consolidate

  • Even if the individual areas of your finances are under control, you gain an advantage when they are pulled together.
  • By viewing each financial decision as part of a whole, you can consider its short and long-term effects on your life goals.

3.  Balance is Key

  • Re-evaluate your financial plan periodically and adjust along the way.  Life events frequently interrupt an otherwise perfect plan.  Incremental adjustments along the way keep you headed in the right direction.

As you begin to dream and plan for your own future, I am reminded of a favorite quote:  Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions.  Albert Einstein