Here is a shocker: men and women are different. I know, I know, that runs counter to what many would have you believe. Take "estate planning," for example. Women really need to make sure they, and their husbands, get the proverbial estate and financial planning ducks in a row without delay.
On that note, MarketWatch had a bit of advice for women worth sharing in a recent article titled “How women can make estate planning easier.”
The challenges that end up arising for women can seem subtle or can be outright life-altering. Either way there are important aspects to take into account whether planning as a married couple or as a single person.
First and foremost, women tend to live longer. In fact, during the Northwestern Mutual Advanced Estate Planning Conference in Overland Park last Thursday and Friday, Gretchen and I learned that 80% of men die married and 80% of women die single. Rather sobering, yes?
So, those of you who follow this blog and are of the "fairer sex," this means you likely will be living longer with a longer retirement with more medical bills to pay and with a longer need for more money.
Statistically, women also have a tendency to offer care to their own elderly parents or in-laws. When all is said and done, wives and husbands may even think differently about the future and the end-game, but the wife is most likely to live out the estate plan.
There is no reason to resort to comparisons of Mars to Venus, but there are enough differences between men and women that we have to respect them and account for them in our estate planning. To compound the challenge of it all, there is no one solution. Married women will have different needs than single ones and past or future marriages can change it all over again.
Simply put, women need to plan early and plan well. Fortunately, there is much advice to be gleaned on the topic and the assistance of experienced estate planning legal counsel is essential.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: MarketWatch (May 8, 2014) “How women can make estate planning easier”