This allows women to continue with their active lifestyle well into their sixties and seventies without too many concerns about reaching their financial goals. The challenge of women is even greater when you consider the limited access to traditional pensions. Retirement age is probably not the right determination when you compare Social Security benefits to 401k plans.
The challenge of women slowing down and regaining strength at later ages is becoming even bigger with the aging of baby boomer men. Determining the retirement age for women is even more complex, simply because women’s work habits reflect both the rising trends over time and the varying considerations that affect retirement behavior among women. Most recently, baby boomers have been very active, and so are women. In addition, women tend to be more satisfied with careers than men. In fact, in some countries, the retirement age is a number much older than the national average.
What does this all mean? Baby boomers are beginning to retire at record rates. The question becomes, “are we protecting our retirement years or are we paying for their delayed growth?” The answer may not be obvious, but it is obvious when you look at the growing differences in retirement age for men and women. One thing we do know is that men are living longer and women are starting to follow suit.
Women now typically turn sixty during their late thirties to early fifties. At this point, they have most of their life experience and so reaching retirement age can seem like a huge hill to climb. On average, women will need eight more years of solid working experience (on top of the five years of potential experience) in order to replace themselves after reaching this marker. For women now, the average life expectancy will be 72.5 years old. Therefore, on a ten-year schedule, this means women need twenty-eight years of consistent work to reach their retirement age.
Social Security Benefits
When looking at retirement age for women, another important factor to consider is the impact of inflation. The actual value of Social Security benefits will not increase, but the cost of living will. Therefore, over the course of one’s lifetime, the actual value of your Social Security benefits may decrease rather than increase as the decades go by. This means that while you are working and earning your benefits, your actual worth will be decreasing.
To protect your retirement income, you need to adjust the amount of dollars coming in over your lifetime. Some people are very careful about how they plan for their Social Security. Others are less concerned and more satisfied with the way things are going economically.
Unexpected Healthcare Costs
Regardless of which path you choose, the best advice is to start planning at least five years ahead of time. That way, when the time comes to retire, you will have a long term plan to live longer and avoid the hit of inflation.
One final area of life impacted by the gender gap in retirement income is healthcare costs. Women tend to live longer than men due to better healthcare, and lower healthcare costs. Women’s life expectancy is about two years longer than men, so they can live longer and avoid the hit of rising healthcare costs. A smart strategy is to build a retirement nest egg to cover unexpected healthcare costs, or to save for higher healthcare premiums, whichever fits your lifestyle.
Retirement age is set progressively, beginning at sixty-five years of age. You can delay retiring until age seventy-five if you are very healthy, or until age eighty-five if you are past athletic success and want to continue to participate in regular activities. However, the official retirement age for Social Security is age 67.5. The CCHP calculator can help you calculate how much you’ll need in your first retirement plan, and the most accurate estimation of your CCHP projection for your entire lifetime.