When it comes to retirement, men and women face many of the same challenges. However, because women have a longer life expectancy and are still struggling with a gender wage gap, planning for an early retirement becomes a different equation altogether. It may come as a surprise to learn that women all around the world tend to retire earlier than their male counterparts.
If you’re a woman and you’re thinking about retiring early, here are some things to keep in mind before you make your big decision.
The year 2020 proved to be one of the most tumultuous in modern history, marked by a number of developments that were historically unprecedented. But the year also demonstrated the resilience of people, institutions, and financial markets.
The novel coronavirus was already in the news early in the year, and concerns grew as more countries began reporting their first cases of COVID-19. Infections multiplied around the world through February, and by early March, when the outbreak was labeled a pandemic, it was clear that the crisis would affect nearly every area of our lives. The spring would see a spike in cases and a global economic contraction as people stayed closer to home, and another surge of infections would come during the summer. Governments and central banks worked to cushion the blow, providing financial support for individuals and businesses and adjusting lending rates.
On top of the health crisis, there was widespread civil unrest over the summer in the US tied to policing and racial justice. In August, Americans increasingly focused on the US presidential race in this unusual year. Politicians, supporters, and voting officials wrestled with the challenges of a campaign that at times was conducted virtually and with an election in the fall that would include a heightened level of mail-in and early voting. In the end, the results of the election would be disputed well into December. As autumn turned to winter, 2020 would end with both troubling and hopeful news: yet another spike in COVID-19 cases, along with the first deliveries of vaccines in the US and elsewhere.
There is a lot of evidence that suggests that are facing unique challenges that older generations never had to encounter, as it relates to finances. With this backdrop, it’s easy to see that Millennials have actually accomplished quite a lot despite having to navigate the 2008 financial crisis, as well as overcoming a reputation for being notoriously bad savers.
When it comes to living independently as we age, much has to do with our surroundings. Many people wish to remain in their homes and age in place, but this is not always manageable. If you are helping your aging parents determine their options, it’s worthwhile to ask whether retrofitting or remodeling their existing home – or yours – can provide years of safe, independent living.
Of course, things like budgeting constraints, physical mobility, and willingness to embrace change will impact this decision, but below we will examine six changes that might allow your parents to age in place, either in their own home or in yours.
Back in January 2020, I sat down to draft some personal and professional goals for the year, as I know many people do. Pencil and paper in hand, super pregnant, I neglected to add “navigate a global pandemic” to my list of hopeful future achievements. At the time, I was excited to attend the Schwab IMPACT conference in October. I looked forward to traveling to San Diego, soaking in all the information I could on industry trends, investments, practice management, and other financial topics. Of course, as we fast forward to the present, the conference ended up being virtual, along with most everything else these days.
Thankfully, if we learned nothing else in 2020, we’ve all embraced the technologies to make our lives seemingly run a little smoother (zoom, google meets, WebEx or facetime, anyone?). I cleared my schedule and dedicated my time and energy into watching the presentations as if I were attending in person. I even virtually “traveled” to the sponsor booths, typically good for a few free pens, T-shirts, and the highly coveted selfie sticks. The conference ended without a pen in sight.