One clear outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that women have endured a disproportionate amount of financial and career upheaval compared to men. As the results of the pandemic continue to unravel, women are hesitantly re-entering the workforce; however, recent data shows that women continue to defer where finances are concerned.
Two years ago, 47% of women saw themselves as the CFOs of their households. Today, that percentage has dropped to 41%. The 2021 Allianz Life study noted that women today are less likely to share equal or have greater responsibility over financial choices than their spouses, compared to 2019. Also, 6% fewer women feel that their earning power is at its peak.
The study didn’t show improvements in women’s focus on retirement planning, either. 42% of women participating in the study feel too bogged down with taking care of day to day expenses to focus on long-term goals like saving for retirement. While the pandemic has prompted 51% of women to put more effort into saving money, only 35% have placed a greater focus on retirement planning.
If you’re feeling disconnected from your finances and retirement planning, there’s still time to change. Here are a few ways you can make your retirement plan a priority:
Create (or revamp) your retirement timeline.
The COVID-19 pandemic had distinctly different effects on women’s retirement plans. While 18% said it caused them to want (or need) to retire sooner, 21% felt that it had delayed their retirement goals.
If the pandemic has shifted your retirement plans, it’s nothing to blame yourself for. Instead, objectively determine how changes in your circumstances could put your financial plan at risk.
If you’ve decided to accelerate your retirement, you may need to allot more of your income to your retirement fund to ensure you can enjoy the retirement lifestyle you want. Don’t forget - if you retire early, you’ll need to fund additional years.
If you’re pushing back retirement, you can buy time to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. Even a few additional years can help you boost retirement savings and earn interest from investments. If you choose to work past retirement age, you could benefit from more significant Social Security benefit payments - up to 8% bigger each year after full retirement age you wait until 70.
Work with the right financial professionals.
Having a trusted, knowledgeable financial professional on your side can go a long way toward helping you meet your retirement goals. More than 75% of women who work with a financial professional say they’re better equipped to adjust to the post-pandemic financial world.
If you’re ready to protect and grow your retirement income and savings, contact us today.