When we open our laptops to research a skin cream, massage therapy or spa vacation we want to experience, it seems to come pretty easily. Adding more self-care to our lives somehow feels fun and intuitive.
But what about when we think of investing for retirement?
Preparing for retirement can feel like yet another stressor on your long list of to-do’s. But doing a little planning now can prevent a mountain of headaches later — and it can be the ultimate process of treating yourself.
Think of it as self-care on steroids, because you’re not just honoring yourself, you’re honoring your future self. Now that’s self-respect.
Here’s what you need to know about retirement planning, and why it’s so important.
Having wealth doesn’t always mean your retirement is good-to-go
In the heyday of your career, you’re in a phase of accumulation. You have an income, lots of expenses, and your savings account — we hope — is growing. But if you’re amassing money without strategically investing in your retirement, you could still find yourself in trouble at 65, or at whatever age you’ve fantasized about stopping work.
A key to good retirement hygiene is automating your investments, as early as possible, into a dedicated retirement fund. Many firms offer “target date” plans that automatically adjust your asset allocations according to your age and your goal retirement date. These tools prioritize high-performance investments when you’re young and shift to more conservative investments as you age.
Retirement is about decumulation — getting rid of that which you’ve amassed. Doing it in a strategic way that honors your shifting needs when you’re older requires careful planning now.
Women face more risk than men
Women all over the world live longer than men. That fact, coupled with the reality that women tend to earn less than their male counterparts, means women are often at a disadvantage when it comes to their retirement funds.
According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, the average American’s savings will last them only about 9.7 years into retirement, assuming they stop work at age 65. Both men and women can expect to live at least eight years longer than the point where their savings will run out, meaning they face a retirement savings deficit.
But the situation is more pronounced for women, whose average life expectancy in the U.S. is three years longer than men’s. In Japan, the scenario is even more striking, with women expected to live past 90, while having an average of only 4.5 years worth of savings past the age of 65.
“One of the biggest risks to a retiree is outliving their savings,” the report says.
These trends are true in many countries around the world. It’s another reason why women should take special care in investing in their future selves.
Retirement involves new priorities
Investing for retirement isn’t just about hitting a certain dollar amount and considering it done. It’s also about thinking through your needs during your golden years, and how those could shift over time.
The foundation of any good plan allows for a regular, steady source of retirement income, which provides peace of mind. Retirees often spend less, which helps to make the savings go further. But a good plan also leaves room for flexibility and unexpected circumstances, like sudden medical costs. And an ideal plan is sustainable, set up to outlast you.
How much thought have you given to this aspect of self-care? It’s never too late to start investing in your retirement. Starting with one baby step — setting up or boosting your auto-pay amounts — can be one of the healthiest choices you’ll make.
About Heels & Yield
Heels & Yield empowers women to manage their finances and to nourish their health and their wealth through its proprietary holistic wealth management practices. To help clients achieve holistic wealth with guidance and accountability, Heels & Yield offers services including group workshops and private wealth mentoring that combines financial education with personal financial coaching.
This blog and its contents were created by Heels & Yield Limited. Our blog and its contents are for general guidance and informational purposes only and should not be treated as legal, accounting, financial, investment or tax advice. For specific questions related to your financial, legal or tax situation, please consult your own attorney, accountant, and/or independent financial advisor for expert advice and carefully consider all relevant risk factors. Heels & Yield Limited is a financial education company and not a financial advisory firm or a law firm or a certified public accounting firm. Please visit our website for full terms of our disclaimer and terms conditions of use. Please read our full disclaimer here.