Six Steps Toward Financial
Empowerment: What Every
Woman Should Know

Issues at Stake for Women
  • Will I be financially secure in case I outlive my spouse?

A woman’s life expectancy outpaces a man’s by over 5 years.1

  • When planning my goals, how do I address my income gap?

Highly qualified women with children leave careers or off-ramp for a period of time.2

Lower lifetime earnings and longer life expectancy require a woman to prepare for living alone in retirement.

  • What if I get divorced, remarried?

Overall women are more negatively impacted by a divorce than men.3

  • Many women suffer from the Bag Lady Syndrome.4

Almost half of all women “often” or “sometimes” fear losing all their money and becoming homeless.

Step 1: Create a Financial Plan.

A financial plan should provide a road map to navigate opportunities and uncertainties that might occur.

Discuss Your expectations and concerns.

Prioritize Your goals into needs, wants, and wishes.

Explore What-if scenario to boost your confidence, and finalize your plan.

Track Your progress and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Evaluate And modify your plan continually as your life evolves.

Step 2: Look at Your Finances Holistically.

As part of the financial planning process, you need to collaborate with your advisors to get a good sense of your budget, both now and down the road, that will influence how much you can invest for your different goals.1

To get started, consider the following points:1

  • Cash revenues
  • Retirement savings
  • Taxable accounts/ investments
  • Real estate holdings
  • Mortgage balances
  • Home equity loans and other debts

*Please make sure you speak with your tax advisor and financial advisor about each of these points.

Step 3: Estimate the Retirement Income You’ll Need.

Before you can understand how much to save for retirement, you’ll need to estimate your required income.

Look at your financial plan as a starting place.

  • How much income will you need to support your lifestyle?

Identify the sources of where you can generate income.1

  • Social Security
  • Employer retirement plan
  • IRAs
  • Annuities
  • Taxable accounts/ investments
  • Home equity

*Please make sure you speak with your financial advisor and tax advisor about the pros and cons of generating income from these and other sources.

Step 4: Protect Your Assets.

It’s important to think through the different ways you need to protect the money you’re trying to set aside for your retirement and other goals.1

Review your insurance coverage from different angles:

  • Life Insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Automobile insurance
  • Umbrella policy

*It’s important to speak with your financial Advisor about the benefits and risks associated with each type of coverage.

Step 5: Get Your Estate Plan in Order for Your Loved Ones.

Estate planning is a complex topic, where you should have your financial advisor coordinate your financial plan with your tax advisor and attorney to address a wide range of issues.

Here are some key questions to raise to start the conversation:

  • How do I ensure my wishes will be met after I’m gone? Should I create a will, a trust, or both?
  • How do I determine the most effective way to provide financial security for surviving family members? Which product solutions make the most sense for me?
  • How can I minimize or avoid estate taxes?
  • Should I have a living will and a durable power of attorney to make sure others can help take care of me as I get older?

Step 6: Update Your Financial Plan as Your Life Evolves

Your financial plan is constantly a work in progress, where you need to update it as your life evolves.

  • It’s a good idea to meet with your financial advisor once a year for a financial checkup.
  • Meet earlier if there’s a major life event (, marriage, divorce, death in family).
  • Make sure you have a plan that’s unique for you.

1 Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality (2019).

2 An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women,” U.S. Dept. of Labor (2009).

3 Gender Differences in the Consequences of Divorce: A Study of Multiple Outcomes, National Institutes of Health (2018).

4 Response to question on whether they fear becoming homeless – a bag lady. The Allianz Women, Money and Power Study (2012).