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Gender-Related Estate Planning Challenges For Women


It is an understatement that women hear so many mixed messages about health, finances, and interpersonal relationships that the only way to stay sane is to tune them all out.  Most maddening is being told to live in the moment by being told that you have to be prepared for everything.  After years of being taught to fear that your first gray hair will make you unsuitable as an employee and a romantic partner, many middle-aged women find that age can cure them of their people-pleasing habits such as no self-help books, no advice from well-intentioned family members, and no therapy sessions have been able to do.  Thinking about your estate plan means thinking about yourself, and you may find that the self-sacrificing tendencies of your youth, or the free-spirited tendencies, if you managed to resist the pressure to sacrifice your happiness, could mean that you face an uphill battle in planning for your retirement.  A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you develop a realistic estate plan, no matter at what stage in your life you begin working on your estate plan.

The Role of Longevity

First, the good news.  Life expectancy has been increasing for both sexes, but it remains longer for women.  In general, you should craft your retirement plan with the assumption that you will live a very long time.  The average life expectancy for American women is 78.54 years, but you should write your retirement budget as if you will live to be 100.

The Gender Earnings Gap

While American women have more earning power than ever before, the average earnings for women remain lower than those for men.  Besides negotiating for better pay and putting more of your money into retirement savings from early in your career, wisely chosen investments can increase your retirement savings.  If you have not already chosen how best to invest for purposes of building your retirement savings, a financial planner or estate planning lawyer can help you.

The Role of Caregiving

Even as they take on higher-paying jobs and more responsibilities in the work environment, the societal pressures on women to spend dozens of hours per week doing unpaid work in the form of family caregiving is considerable.  The choice to take time away from the workforce to care for your children full-time is an individual one and will not, by itself, sink your retirement plans.  The bigger risk is that even the most enterprising women, the ones who are well-established in their salaried employment and still make time for a lucrative side hustle, often find themselves in the role of financial caregiver.  Maybe you are the mom who pays for your kids to live in a city where the job prospects are better while you work your fingers to the bone in your boring hometown.  Maybe you are the aunt who pays the difference when your niece’s financial aid doesn’t pay enough to get her through the semester.  Maybe you are the semi-retired grandma who offers free babysitting to help your children save money.  These, too, are personal choices but they can affect your retirement plans.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Your Clearwater estate planning attorney can help you develop an estate plan that reflects your values and serves your interests and those of the people you care the most about.  Contact William Rambaum for help today.



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