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Apr 23

Planning for the Future: A Particular Concern for Women

Govanhill photoshoot at the Arches, Glasgow: The Group

An article from National Geographic recently profiled life expectancy trends and found a few surprising details. For starters, gender makes a difference. Women live an average of 81 years, while that number drops to 76 for men. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation looked deeper and found that although women still outlive men, the gap is narrowing. A co-author of the study said that it may be because an increasing number of women lack access to treatment for common health concerns like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol.

A separate study from the MetLife company looked at retirement trends based on genders and found some additional startling information that pointed to the need for women to think about how to manage their golden years, even if that time is still deep in the future.

Women are more likely to go through the Aging Process Alone

An elderly couple taking time out for a snack and watching passers by

Known as the MetLife Study of Women, Retirement and Extra-Long Life, data examined many factors, and found evidence of a higher probability for men to be accompanied throughout the aging process, while women may be forced to go it alone. The study discovered that in addition to living longer than males, problems like divorce can also make women find themselves planning for retirement without a partner.

Those facts don’t mean that women have to make an anxious effort to enter the dating world as they become older, but rather, they show how it’s important to have a support system throughout all stages of life, particularly for single women. Fortunately, websites like MeetUp.com appeal to anyone who wants to be social without necessarily looking for an intimate relationship. Users can filter search results to reflect certain interests or geographic areas, and the simply designed interface is often encouraging for people who recognize the benefits of having a group of friends to rely on, but don’t want to feel overwhelmed by finding a place to fit in.

Financial Costs Related to Personal Healthcare and Caregiving Concerns

The MetLife study also showed that women are more likely than men to deal with high healthcare costs. Data pointed to a variety of possible reasons, including a lack of access to insurance and more out-of-pocket expenses. Recent health care reform has created some positive healthcare changes for women, but some also deal with separate expenses that are connected with caring for someone else.

Rapprochement

Because women generally have a longer life expectancy, they may assume the role of being a caregiver for a spouse or other family member. This is a noble decision, but one that includes its own financial burdens, especially because being a caregiver often means that the person responsible has no choice but to cut back on the number of hours worked outside of the home.

A Financial Plan is Essential

Creating a financial plan is a smart way to deal with the potential for differing future needs. Luckily, getting started is as easy as setting a budget and trying to save money as much as possible. It’s also essential for women to work on improving financial competency levels, especially if they habitually depend on others to take care of those essentials. Some communities offer free or low-cost classes specifically for women who want to start thinking about how to provide for the future.

Having a future oriented mindset is important for people of both genders, but as the details above show, women have particular factors to consider. Being financially proactive is important at any age, but especially as someone becomes older.

Sam Negrete is a writer for several health blogs. Today, more than ever, people are living longer and there is a need for quality living arrangements for their late years. At the Assisted Living Today Official Website there is information on when to move to an assisted facility, where is a safe, clean place and how much it will cost.

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