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Some women may need earlier estate planning due to many factors

Many American women face a greater retirement savings crisis than men. The retirement savings shortfalls for those on the verge of retirement is roughly double for women as opposed to men, according to a nonpartisan research organization. In fact, poverty in old age is looking more like a woman's problem due to pay disparities, greater life expectancy, higher health care costs and large numbers of divorced and widowed women living alone. These are all reasons why many women living in Texas and elsewhere should engage in an estate planning program even earlier than is usually foreseen.

Women also get behind the retirement eight-ball when they take time off to care for a parent or other immediate family member. The loss of wages, Social Security benefits and other items is far greater than what a man will lose in the same situation. The organization that lobbies for older people, AARP, asserts that elder care should be included as an employee benefit.

Additionally, a move is on to get states to offer special retirement savings plans for workers whose employers don't offer retirement plans. Such challenges have given rise to online organizations of women who want to improve their retirement and elder care positions. One answer that is emerging is that both men and women should choose a trusted financial planner and work early toward constructing a viable retirement plan. The earlier the better, of course, since the compounding of interest on savings or mutual investment funds grows exponentially in time.

The problem currently is that many will find themselves at the point where they need immediate care that they cannot afford due to lack of planning. It is imperative for younger women, and men for that matter, to initiate a plan and stick to it early on in their careers. In Texas, there are many qualified financial planners, and attorneys who specialize in estate planning and elder care planning, to assist persons of both genders to assemble the strongest plans appropriate to their circumstances.

Source: startribune.com, "Retirement outlook is more challenging for women", Brad Allen, Aug. 22, 2015

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