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Women May Have Financial Planning Challenges in Later Life

Women May Have Financial Planning Challenges in Later Life

March 8, 2024

Retirement planning for women should take several things into consideration, writes Peter Watson.

Women’s finances can get difficult. If a woman is married or in a long-term relationship, often she is younger than her husband. Plus, a women’s life expectancy is longer than men’s.

A woman could outlive her husband by 10 years. If the family unit runs out of money in the last decade of their life, it is reasonable to expect that more often this will affect the woman because her husband has predeceased her.

Housing will be a significant cost and the cost of accommodation most often does not change when the couple is reduced to just one person. Plus, there may be additional costs of household duties that had been performed by the person that is no longer here.

Women that are not in a long-term relationship also have potential barriers to overcome. Women have children and often tend to be the prime caregiver to those children as well as other family members.

That can negatively affect their earning power. Women’s formal education and ability has resulted in a higher income potential, however, if your working ability is reduced or eliminated during parts of your lifetime the result is a lower lifetime income.

Lower income means lower savings and lower investments to provide retirement cash flow. There are government sources of income including Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security but there is some risk in those sources of income too.

What happens if our government’s financial situation deteriorates to the point where some government paid assistance must be reduced? This is not a prediction, but it is an observation that the government’s finances continue to get worse every year.

There is a reason for the timing of this article. Friday, March 8, 2024, is International Women’s Day. A good time for all women to focus on their needs that should be addressed in their own personal financial planning.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through