There is much to fret about retirement. If you identify as a woman, your concerns regarding the topic will be inevitably gendered and beset with unique problems. Fighting through an often unfair professional environment is a tough call in itself without the spectre of a painful retirement looming large in the future.
But there is respite, and like at work, it involves information gathering and smart preparation.
Think About It
If the thought of retirement is still to hit your consciousness, it may be time to let that thought in. We usually get too caught up in the daily work grind to think too much into the future, but it is essential that we take out time now, today to start planning.
Is Retirement For Real?
For many women, retirement is an abstract word because the reality of it is neither clear nor entirely possible. Unless the person has been engaged in fairly high-paying work profiles with an active saving habit running side-by-side, few women are imagining their post-work life as a vacation on a beach with a tropical drink in hand! Most of them are in fact almost confident of working through their ‘retirement’ years, and depending on the industry they are involved in, that number could differ. This decision could be entirely non-voluntary, and in keeping with the economic climate. Inflationary pressures can often force people to continue working till they can, and later even seek out other work profiles that can keep some stream of income active throughout. Financial insecurity in the retirement years is real and it would do you well to figure out if it will ever be possible for you to stop working. If not, then what can your options be to cut down but still earn?
Are You Going To Be A Caregiver?
One of the major deciders of your financial health during your retirement period will be the number of family members you will be supporting during it. Looking after aging parents, or in-laws, irrespective of how much they themselves have saved, is a huge responsibility that is again suspect to changes in inflation, currency strength, senior citizen laws, insurance rates, illnesses, and more. If you are anticipating say two such dependencies, then plan ahead in high-interest schemes and in medical insurance packages that cover greater grounds in terms of tests and treatments. Needless to say, even the best of such plans can be waylaid by emergencies, so contingency planning is just as essential. Locking up all savings in non-liquid instruments promises to be a great source of stress, so plan smartly.
A lot of women have consciously begun to defer motherhood to as late an age as it is medically safe to explore. If you are planning a late motherhood, the financial realities attached to it could be a bit different from the usual. Consider your professional longevity and income as well as your partner’s minutely before choosing parenthood. If you plan on being a single mother, or of adopting, the pressures would be higher. Late pregnancies could involve higher medical expenses and complications, and with educational costs fast rising, the school/college expenses may dent your retirement plans more severely than expected.
Plan As An Individual
While planning for your retirement investments and course of life, plan with all considerations of family like it could be just you handling things. This may sound hyper stressful but it is actually an act of careful pre-planning that will shield you against disappointments of life – death, divorce, disability, or whatever that maybe. It will pay to fine-tune your savings and investments with a highly rational approach rather than emotional. It is critical that you save up resources that ultimately only you be able to access.