What Every Woman Needs to Know about Retirement

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Retirement needs to be on your radar, especially as a woman! This convicting post shares the essentials of why we need to prepare for it.

Retirement is such an icky, boring old word. None of us want to really think about it, yet we can’t prevent it from approaching. Every day is another day closer to….retirement.

Even though I probably have many years ahead of me, aging still freaks me out quite a bit! The less I have to think about it, the better. But time does not stand still, and the retirement issue isn’t going away. Ugh. That means you and I really need to deal with it.

As women, we tend to let retirement responsibility fall on the men in our lives. Subconsciously or not, if the husband is the breadwinner, we automatically assume that our needs will always be met. There’s no need for us to share our insights, because the guys have this things covered.

This point was actually proven by a Facebook status I posted last week. When I asked what your fears were about retirement, only the men chimed in to comment. Demographically, 96% of my Facebook followers are women, but only 3% are men. *Crickets*

{On a side note, I have no clue about that other 1%!}

Retirement Should Matter…to YOU

This might not be the most fun post you’ve ever read, but seriously, it’s a necessity. You need to be scared. Retirement needs to be on your radar. Yes….as a woman. <– {Click to Tweet}This book opened my eyes to easy retirement planning, and the author makes it fun, and motivating!

Although men are wired to provide, women have a unique intuition to be detail-oriented, have a lower tolerance for risk, and will actually ask for directions……a.k.a. financial advice. This makes us great candidates for managing our family financial situations.

At this point, you are probably starting to think:

  • How will I ever balance thinking about retirement on top of all my other responsibilities?
  • I’m just happy to get through the day, let alone the next 30-40 years. 
  • I don’t have that much extra to save for retirement, I have to feed and clothe my family!

I hear you. I’m making the exactly same excuses, and wish retirement was a figment of my imagination rather than reality. However, we can’t just sit here and do nothing.

Dreaming about traveling and spending time with family during your retirement years is not going to give you the confidence you need to achieve it. You have to do something about it, starting now. – pg 31, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement | Mary Hunt

Owning our retirement responsibility is a process, but you can do this! Baby steps are all it takes – one small step in front of the other.

First Steps to Retirement Thinking

If you’re willing to take that first step, sit down with your spouse, grab a fresh sheet of paper, and start dreaming. If you’re single, invite a friend over to brainstorm with you. Here are the 3 main questions you need to answer before going any further:

What do your retirement years look like to you? Do you want to travel? Be near your kids and future grandkids? Own a seasonal home in a warmer climate? Learn a new hobby? Bless your family with occasional monetary gifts? Maintain a small side job, or start a business?

What would be the ideal salary for you to live on each year? Could you retire on what you’re making right now? How much of social security will you rely on as a supplement?

How are you going to get there? Stock/Bond investments? Real estate? Personal savings accounts? If your husband already has this figured out, ask him to share details with you – in English. But don’t be afraid to voice your opinions either.

We need to answer these questions because money doesn’t just magically appear out of thin air, and future dreams don’t come without hard work.

If you’re still in your 20’s and 30’s, you have the opportunity to make some really smart decisions right now. 40’s, you’ll have to work a little harder. 50’s, not impossible, but you should probably seek a financial advisor to help.

Don’t let retirement creep up on you. Use this as your wake-up call. Do something.

The Smart Woman's Guide to Retirement by Mary HuntIn The Smart Woman’s Guide to Retirement, author Mary Hunt explains why we as women need to be thinking about the issue of retirement….no matter our age.

You will be empowered to start saving right away, even if it’s just a little bit each month in a personal savings account. It’s the little things that add up to big accomplishments!

Buy the Book

How are you saving for the future?



Funny quote, but actually quite true! How prepared are you for retirement?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I received this book free from Revell. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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  1. I think for me, seeing my parents struggle with their own retirement has made me much more aware of the necessity of taking control of my retirement. That and I don’t trust the government to provide for me.

  2. So nice to see a young person thinking ahead. I didn’t even start to think about retirement until my late 40s. Wow, I’m impressed. Thanks for the helpful article. 🙂 Jane

    1. I have to admit, I wouldn’t have put much thought into it were it not for that book! There are just so many things to save for right now, that I kept putting it off. 🙂

  3. Every year I had a corporate job, I maxed out my 401k savings and my husband still does this – with a company match, it’s hard to forego that savings. Since I’ve been home with my kids, I haven’t added much to my own retirement accounts, but since I have a buy and hold approach and since I’m mainly invested in index funds, my account balance continues to grow nicely. When you have 40 years to save up, a little at a time can compound to a whole lot!

  4. I’ve been worried about my retirement since I was 10. My piggy bank was ear marked for my retirement!

  5. Well…….I’m 58 and just starting to think about all of this! Yes, I know, terrible, terrible lack of planning. My husband has retirement through a county school system, but I have a feeling it won’t even come close to being adequate. I also have a verrrry small IRA which I put my retirement plan funds into when I quit my job to raise our family. My husband owns a very successful small business, however, whenever I tried to talk to him about putting money from it into some form of retirement …..he just fought with me over it, so I gave up. I have just landed a job with the county school system and plan to make some provisions of my own. I will be contributing to the state retirement fund. That’s my situation in a nutshell. What’s your best advice? Or is this a hopeless cause?

    1. Vivian – my heart goes out to you! But you are definitely not alone and I certainly don’t think it’s hopeless yet. First, I would figure out exactly how much you are going to need for basic necessities once you reach retirement age, subtract what you’ve already saved, and try to set aside a monthly amount perhaps in addition to the retirement fund you already have.

      Since I don’t know your exact situation, I would try scaling down your lifestyle, and perhaps think about downsizing your living situation in preparation for your retirement years. The housing market is going back up and it might be a great time to sell your home and buy something a little bit smaller. You can also plan on postponing your retirement. Since we are all living much longer than we used to, you may be able to work during those years, and retire a bit later in life, thus allowing your nest egg to grow.

      Anyway, those are just a few options I have in mind right now…..if I were you I would try to find an accountant or investment friend who could help give you more concrete numbers and solutions. Hope this helps get your brain thinking on some ideas though!

  6. When I was young and working retail a very savvy personnel clerk told me to start with 3% of my income, I wouldn’t notice she told me. Then as I got raises, I contributed more. In 9 years, having made no more than $12,000 annually I had amassed $54,000 with company matches and the market increases. I was impressed and only wished I had started earlier. You have to pay attention and manage your account or trust in your account manager to do it for you. When I wanted to roll over into an IRA my broker sent me home with many investment ideas. Told me to study and come back in a week with what my picks were. We discussed my social and political views and worked together to set up my portfolio with long term investment in mind. You are never to young to start!

    1. It is surprising how much you don’t notice that little bit taken out of your account. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your success story!

  7. Glad to see someone bringing this to the attention of younger women. Things happen to derail the way you think your life will turn out. I am 58 and became medically disabled at 56. I had saved and invested, but truly expected to work another 10 years. I started investing for retirement at 32, saved diligently and became a good self-taught investor. But between divorce and disability, even I struggle in retirement, as I must plan for the possibility of living another 30 years!! The one thing I did not do that I wish I had was to purchase a private disability insurance policy when I was younger and healthy. Retirement planning guides recommended it, but I never did. I was covered by disability insurance through work and thought it would never be an issue. BUT, once you are treated for a condition or a disease, your next job’s disability insurance will not cover you. Great advice here. I just encourage all young adults to look into private disability insurance. Get putting out the great info!

    1. You bring up a really great point regarding disability. Definitely a key factor to seriously consider!!

  8. Very thankful my Mom always stressed the importance of working for good companies with benefits and the importance of saving. I retired this year at age 59, started taking my pension another will start at 65 SS at 66 and a healthy 401k as fallback. Good luck everyone – SAVE

  9. The number one thing any person who is getting ready or allready retired should NOT do is financially take care of their kids. Their kids should be on their own financially.

  10. I just retired.
    I was a member of the national guard for 21 years.
    I taught for 25 years in the public school system.
    As of last week I will be making (within. $150) the same monthly that I did just before retirement.
    In a couple of years I will be old enough for social security. That will actually be a raise.
    I have savings of over $200,000 in IRAs, Money markets, and district retirement savings.
    I might teach part time online if I want something interesting to do.
    I raised a family of four.and because of my degree/qualifications I always earned than mu spouse. I paid off a home. I own my car free and clear.
    I put money away every paycheck, and though I still worry about growing old and being poor, today I feel comfortable.
    It takes work, but looking back at all I did I realize I made good choices.
    So, save every day and you will get there. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Judie! You are such an inspiration for those of us who are still saving for retirement. I hope to have at least that much put away when I retire!

  11. Ummm. Is this for real? Women ignore retirement because their husbands have it covered? Seems a bit old fashioned. I know of no woman of my generation who ignores her families finances, both current and future. This article is sexist. Everyone should care about retirement. Obviously.

  12. This is NOT sexist. I work for the federal government and at least once a day, I encounter a woman who knows nothing about her finances. One would think that it’s just older women – but it’s not a generational thing. Even though it is 2020, there are a lot of women who are intimidated, fearful or just uneducated about money.

    1. Thanks for your kind reply, Renada. I think it’s so easy in our world today to jump to labels just because something doesn’t fit into our personal experience. Thank you for sharing the real life examples of what you have seen as well on how even the 2020 woman isn’t always financially aware.

      Of course there are men who aren’t prepared for retirement either, but my audience is geared toward women, so my message is always framed with that in mind.

  13. As a single woman until my late 30s & with a wide dad, I always paid into my company pensions to ensure I got the maximum employer contributions. From the UK & over past 12 years I have really managed my own investments in a SIPP.
    Ask any of my friends and I am a complete pension bore as a retirement income brings freedom & options that are key at that stage of life. 52 now & could probably retire at 55 but want to carry on working while I can. Best advice is to start early, even with a little each month (£50k) as if paying tax you will get tax relief on this amount. Compound interest is your friend. & take some risk & interest in where you invest, do not leave to a pension provider default fund. Even when retire if stay invested you may still have decades of investment growth!

    1. It sounds like you played all your cards perfectly! That’s awesome that you could retire so soon. Thanks so much for sharing!

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