Report: Women Worried About Retirement

A study reveals that retired women are concerned about making funds last.

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Recently retired women are more worried than their male counterparts about stretching funds over their remaining years. This heightened concern, as highlighted in an Investors Group study, may be related to the well-known fact that, statistically speaking, women generally live longer than men. Another likely contributor is that, while working, women tend to earn less than men. In a nutshell, women have less money to spread over more years.

Financial priorities are different among retired women and men. The study found that it’s more important for women to leave behind money for family and charities, by a margin of 14%.

Financial priorities are also different among retired women and men. The study found that it’s more important for women to leave behind money for family and charities, by a margin of 14%. When asked what they would do with an unexpected windfall, 67% of women said they were likely to give money to charity, while 47% of men said the same.

Overspending vs. underliving

Of course, overspending can present a problem. What about underliving, though? If fear of running out of money makes you ultra-conservative, you may pass on activities that help you fully enjoy your golden years.

For example, travel was high on the list of priorities for pre-retirees in the study. The vast majority of women (81%) and men (89%) intend to spend money during retirement on things they want, such as trips and hobbies. When we look at recent retirees though, nearly two-thirds find it hard to strike a balance between making their money last and enjoying retirement. Interestingly, this sentiment was expressed more often by survey respondents who don’t work with a financial advisor.

The key, it seems, to fully enjoying retirement is preparation. A Statistics Canada study using data from the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey concluded that respondents who rely on advice from a financial advisor have increased levels of financial knowledge.

So it seems that whether your retirement views are aligned with Venus or Mars, the best step forward is discussing your priorities and concerns with a professional. Together, we can build a plan to help you retire with confidence.

About Investors Group’s study

An online survey with 1,004 recent or soon-to-be retirees (50+) was conducted by Leger between February 18 and 23, 2016, using its online panel Legerweb. The sample was split evenly between those who intend to retire in the next five years (n=502) and those who retired within the past five years (n=502). A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.


Blending families – not finances

Exploring the financial side of finding new love as a Baby Boomer.

Getting married or starting a common-law relationship is a little more complicated later in life – at least from a financial viewpoint. Unlike young couples just starting out, you likely have investments, property or other assets that you’re bringing to the relationship. If one or both of you have children, you’ll want to consider the financial implications of a blended family.

Many Canadians, like Simone, who started a common-law relationship at age 56, want to ensure that their estate flows directly to their children. “We both have grown children from previous marriages,” explained Simone. “We want to keep our assets separate so we can provide for our respective families after we’re gone.”

The definition of a common-law relationship can differ across Canada. The laws that govern how assets are distributed at death vary, too, even for married couples. In some provinces, for example, marriage automatically revokes a will you previously had in place. It’s wise to update your will when your relationship status changes, regardless of where you live. While you’re at it, review your power of attorney if you have one or consider setting one up. It appoints someone to act on your behalf if you are incapable.

Your will and power of attorney can give authority to the same person but they are completely separate and won’t be in effect at the same time. When it comes to financial assets, keep in mind that you can name anyone, even a charity, as a beneficiary on a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), but there are special tax rollover provisions at death if you name a spouse, common-law partner or financially dependent child or grandchild as beneficiary. You should also consider how insurance policies, both existing and new, factor into your plan. For example, naming your partner as beneficiary can be an effective way to provide for them and still pass the bulk of your estate to your children.

Older and wiser

It makes good financial sense to ensure your assets are also protected if the relationship ends. A marriage contract (often referred to as a prenuptial agreement when done before the wedding) or cohabitation agreement for common-law unions sets out rules to govern a separation or divorce. It can speak to spousal support and the division of assets you brought into the relationship and those you acquired together (e.g., property, vehicle, inheritance). Both marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements can be initiated at any time in the relationship.

“It was fairly straightforward when I was married, everything was evenly shared and our kids were the main priority,” said Simone. “There’s a lot more to consider when you start a relationship when you have children and grandchildren.”

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