Today, women are more educated and financially empowered than any past generation. More and more women are responsible for handling their family’s finances, and, according to a study done by the Insured Retirement Institute, less than half are confident they are doing a good job of preparing financially for retirement.

The Insured Retirement Institute also reports that only 15% of women rate themselves as extremely, or very, knowledgeable about investing. Women are increasingly responsible for planning major life events either alone or jointly with their spouse: this may include college planning, family needs, starting a business, starting over after divorce, or becoming widowed. The report goes on to say that securing a guaranteed income in retirement is the number one concern for women today.

Regardless of age, lifestyle, or marital status, I feel it is beneficial for women know what important things they should do regarding their finances.

The study also reports that women typically outlive men by at least 3 to 4 years, which means for those who are married and not involved in the financial planning process, they will be forced to live with the decisions made by their spouses. In addition, because women typically live longer than men, some specific financial planning challenges may be even more important to address, such as decreasing rates of return on social security contributions, the accelerating demise of defined benefit pensions, the rising cost of health care, and the potential impact of inflation.

Due to these issues, women may want to be especially careful to secure a lifetime of secure income. Based on longevity alone, women may need to accumulate more wealth to finance their retirement needs. But, this doesn’t mean that women are likely to favor investments that carry additional risk in an effort to capture greater growth.

Skillful advisors can help provide the appropriate strategies to create the desired amount of income to last throughout the remainder of your life, as well as offering strategies to provide attractive legacy options.