Women and Retirement: How to Save, Build a Budget, and Live the Retirement You Want

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.

Plan for a Longer Life

In a recent study, the average life expectancy for women in the United States was around 81 years. However, many of us know women who have surpassed this by quite a bit! With modern medical treatments becoming increasingly available, and women across the country prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, more and more female retirees are living longer. While this is wonderful, it can also pose a problem for retirees who haven’t saved enough to last throughout their extra-long lifespan.

As you start to look toward retirement, it’s important to plan for a longer life. Luckily, you have options to extend the “life” of your retirement savings:

  • Work longer. For many women, the answer to longer lives is to work longer. This can be a healthy option both mentally and financially. Studies have shown that working longer actually extends your lifespan, and keeps you both mentally sharp and emotionally fulfilled. It also allows you to continue making a regular income and postpone tapping your retirement savings.
  • Save more. If you’re worried about outliving your retirement savings, one clear solution is to save more. Capitalizing on “catch up” contribution limits that allow you to save more in retirement accounts in the years leading up to your retirement can be a helpful way to maximize savings with a longer life in mind.
  • Earn more. Evaluate your investment portfolios in light of when you will need to start drawing funds, how long you will need the funds to last, and how much risk you are willing to take. It’s important to educate yourself on the need to invest for longevity. You may need to adjust your portfolio to take longevity into account.
  • Get creative when constructing your retirement income. Retirement income can be comprised of many different savings tools. From your employer-sponsored retirement plan, to a pension, to your own individual savings and investing tools - you may be able to extend the life of your savings by leveraging a variety of investment solutions.

Budget for the Life You Want

Even if you’ve lived a frugal life leading up to your retirement, you may have some goals that require significant spending during your years as a retiree. Your goals may be concrete - like the dream trip to Hawaii you’ve always wanted to take. However, they may also be based in a feeling - like wanting to experience new things, or to travel with family more often.

Whatever your lifestyle goals are as a retired woman, budgeting for them when you build a retirement income plan is key. Understanding the “why” behind your goals can help you to prioritize spending, and structure savings in a way that supports how you want to spend this next phase of your life. This lays the foundation for a fulfilling retirement, and can promote your long-term financial and emotional wellness.

Find an Advisor to Help

You deserve to live the retiree lifestyle you want. At Wood Smith Advisors, we help our clients to develop a vision for their years as a retiree and build a strategic, comprehensive financial and wealth management plan that puts them on the path toward success. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today! We’d love to help you plan for the retirement of your dreams.


Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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