While families usually think about creating estate plans and planning for the future as a single unit, this is not always advisable. Every individual has unique estate planning needs that may differ from their spouse or children. For example, women may want to think differently about estate planning—and specifically saving for retirement—than many men. This is for a variety of reasons, including the gender pay gap and higher life expectancy, among others. Below are some of the explanations for why women should approach estate planning differently and how to overcome these obstacles.
Longer Life Expectancy
On average, women have a longer life expectancy than men. While this does not sound critical for estate planning and retirement purposes, it should. When saving for retirement, women may not be considering that they may live beyond their life expectancy. If they outlive their life expectancy, they may not have saved enough for retirement. Thus, they would not have enough money to live comfortably—and have the discretionary funds for health expenses.
While men may also outlive the average life expectancy, this is a problem that women are more likely to encounter—especially if their spouse passes away before then, which would reduce their planned savings or pension even more.
Gender Pay Gap
Another obstacle affecting women is the gender pay gap in most industries. Women, and in particular women of color, are paid less than men for the same work. Logically, this means they will have to place a higher proportion of their salary to cover their planned retirement and savings for the future. Estate planning attorneys can advise women on how to best save for the future and strategies they should utilize to combat the pay disparity.
How Women Should Create an Estate Plan
These issues, along with others, show why women may want to approach estate planning differently than their male counterparts. But because women themselves will face different issues and have various needs throughout the estate planning process, it is critical to create a custom estate plan to fit a person’s unique situation. Estate planning attorneys can help advise clients on how much they should save for retirement and help to create a personalized estate plan that ensures their needs for the future are being met.
By delaying this process, there can be long-term consequences. These include needing to save more per year for retirement, needing to retire later in life, or having to compromise on a person’s preferred retirement lifestyle.
Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney
If you or a loved one needs assistance crafting an estate plan, contact the Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. We have decades of experience helping individuals, families, and loved ones create estate plans that fit their unique needs and circumstances. Estate planning may appear complicated and overwhelming—we are here to reduce stress about the process and answer any questions you have. To schedule a free, initial consultation and to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, give us a call today at 713-333-8900.