Listen up Ladies! It’s Time to Talk Finances.

Pinnacle Personnel Services, LLC  |  Debbie Hatch

Back in the day, men handled the family finances. I don’t think we’re surprised to hear that.

Can I tell you something that might surprise you, though?  Many women, even in 2018, have left the financial planning to their spouse/partner.  In my line of work, as a retirement counselor, I’ve heard countless stories about women who have been left to figure things out after a spouse died.  They had no idea where to even begin.


Ladies – today it’s time to open your eyes.  I recently participated in the Health is Wellness Online Summit.  Here are some sobering numbers that were shared:


  • Women are 27% more likely than men to have no retirement savings. 1


  • More than 70% of nursing home residents are women this fact carries significant financial implication. 2


  • 40% of women age 65 or older are widows. 3


  • The average age of widowhood is 56. 4


  • On average, a woman spends 12 years in various unpaid caregiving roles; resulting in a financial loss estimated to be more than $320,000. 5


  • 64% of baby boomer women, don’t have a backup plan if they are forced into early retirement. 6


  • 29% plan to rely solely on Social Security. 7


  • Estimates show that lifetime health care costs for a 65-year-old woman living to 89 will be $314,673, on average, compared to $267,395 for men. 8


If this doesn’t make you realize you need to plan for retirement, I don’t know what will.  Where should you start?

First, be aware.  Knowing there’s a problem is the first step to making plans for correcting it.  We make plenty of plans for our children’s futures.  We plan vacations and work projects.  We plan to finish school, get that degree/certification, and excel at our chosen profession.  We don’t do such a good job of planning for retirement.  Start by determining your personal needs.  How old are you?  How much longer do you plan to work?  What’s your plan for healthcare, over the long-term?  How much have you saved for retirement?  What’s your plan for housing as you get older? What things are you going to need?  What if your partner passes away?  Spend some time really thinking about these things!  Jot down some notes.  Talk to friends and loved one.  Talk with a financial planner when you’re ready but do some prep work first.


From the Fidelity Money Fit Women Study.


Next, make an accounting of what you currently have available.  Savings?  Checking?  Investments?  Property?  Social Security?


If you need X and you have Y, what is the concrete plan for making up the difference? 


Small, incremental steps can make a big difference but you have to take those steps consistently.  Cut back here or there.  When you get a promotion, save at least half of the pay increase.  Save a couple dollars wherever you can, and THEN (this part is important) put that money into your retirement account.  At least twice a year, review your progress.  Are you closing that gap?



  1. Elyssa Kirkham. GoBankingRates. March 14, 2016.
  2. Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley. Center for American Progress. April 12, 2016.
  3. Richard Eisenberg. July 1, 2014.
  4. Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. 2015.
  5. Family Caregiver Alliance. February 2015.
  6. TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. March 1, 2016.
  7. TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. March 1, 2016.
  8. HeathView. The High Cost of Living Longer:  Women and Retirement Health Care.  2016.

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