You deserve to live a lifestyle that brings you joy - even if you outlive your partner. Creating an individual retirement plan is one way to safeguard yourself against financial scarcity during your years as a retiree, and help to prepare you for the possibility of facing retirement without your life partner by your side.

Relationships run through our lives every day. From family members to friends and coworkers, our daily habits rely on the relationships we cultivate. It seems natural for us to put work into maintaining the relationships we have with other people, but we also have relationships with objects-- tangible things that affect our lives sometimes as deeply as humans do. One of those objects we often forget we are in a relationship with is money.

Money and personal finance makes up a large part of our livelihood and influences our daily habits and decisions. Like any other relationship, our relationship with money can turn toxic if we don’t pay attention.

There seems to be a myth floating around in the world of personal finance about retirement planning. Many finance professionals, and individuals who choose to DIY their finances, focus exclusively on developing a retirement plan that centers on savings - how much to save, what accounts to use for savings, and how to allocate your savings for maximum return.

The retirement savings gap is growing at an alarming rate. Many millennials are overwhelmed with student loans, consumer debt, and historically low pay. Unfortunately, this often means that retirement savings gets put on the back burner while other financial goals and dreams take up the spotlight. To combat this, and to help their younger employees prepare for retirement, many companies have started to implement an opt-out workplace retirement plan.

Most people are working toward creating an estate plan that aligns their money with what they value most in this world. They want to take care of their families, donate money to charities and causes they care deeply about, and support parts of their community they love. What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to wait until you set up your estate plan to use your money in a meaningful way. Socially responsible investing, or SRI, can help you to invest in companies or organizations that are doing good work in the world - all while still keeping you on track to reach your financial goals.

When you’re in a committed relationship, you’re going to experience disagreements. When those disagreements are about finances, it can be especially uncomfortable because we all have emotional hang ups when it comes to money. Whether one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, or you disagree about where your “extra” money from bonuses or unexpected cash windfalls should go, financial disagreements can lead to tension in your relationship. Luckily, you can move through these difficult conversations with relative ease by following a few simple steps.

Many women run their households, have built successful careers, tackle a side hustle, and are actively involved with their family, friends, and local community. It’s not a secret that women are essentially superheroes without capes! So why is it that so many women struggle to discuss their finances? According to a recent survey, 61% of women would rather discuss the details of their death than their own money. That’s a daunting statistic, especially because many women will be solely responsible for their own finances, and potentially their family’s estate, at some point during their lives.

When you work with a financial advisor, you want to make sure that the advice you receive is always in your best interest. You don’t want to jeopardize your financial plan, or your ability to earn more in the long-term because an advisor sold you a financial product that you may or may not have needed.

For many, retirement can be a challenging time. Going from your set routine and schedule to having a dramatic lack of structure in your life is jarring. Though many people have a vision for how they’d like their retirement to look, others might find that pursuing a secondary “retirement career” is the answer they’re looking for.

Much of financial planning involves preparing for the unpleasant and unexpected. Almost half of United States couples go through a divorce at some point in their lives - and it’s a difficult process both financially and emotionally. Although money may be one of the last things on your mind right now, there are a few steps to take that can help you to line up your finances when divorce is imminent, and after you go through proceedings.

If you’re a single woman without children, you may be wondering whether estate planning is something you need to be concerned about. The truth is, estate planning is something that everyone should consider, at least to some extent. When putting together your estate plan, there are two key things you need to consider:

  1. Who is going to take care of your assets when you are no longer able to do so?
  2. Who will make health related decisions if you’re unable to make them for yourself?

Life expectancy is still steadily increasing, with no signs of slowing down. Women, in particular, have seen an extending lifespan in recent years. Right now, women have an average lifespan of 81 years! As biotechnology improves, it’s very likely that people will live well into their 90’s - or even past 100 years of age. While this is an exciting thought, it does require more detailed financial planning.

The beautiful thing about retiring in today’s world is that there are no traditional expectations. As women, we are presented with countless, incredible retirement lifestyle options.

Whether you yourself are currently experiencing widowhood, or you know someone who is - I want to take a moment to acknowledge your strength. When you lose a lifelong partner, there are moments where it might feel numb, as though moving forward and creating a next-steps plan is outside of your capacity. That’s completely understandable.

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