Women Wise: The Essential Guide to Financial and Lifestyle Decisions as We Age

Women Wise: The Essential Guide to Financial and Lifestyle Decisions as We Age

Women Wise: The Essential Guide to Financial and Lifestyle Decisions as We Age

Women Wise: The Essential Guide to Financial and Lifestyle Decisions as We Age


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When it comes to retirement advice, one size does not fit all.

Approximately five thousand women turn sixty-five in the United States every day. Despite that, many feel alone, forgotten, and unprepared for the realities of aging and retirement and all that comes with it. In addition to these anxieties, women often face challenges in their sunset years that are unique to their gender: longer lives, a higher probability of being single, and lower levels of financial literacy—all of which make retirement harder to navigate.

In Women Wise, highly respected financial planning professionals Eleanor Blayney and Marjorie Fox tackle the biggest retirement obstacles and decisions women may face, including optimizing Social Security benefits, choosing a Medicare plan, and deciding whether to remain in their own homes or move to a senior community. Combining comprehensive and practical financial advice with deeply personal anecdotes about the challenges they both faced during their sixties and seventies, Eleanor and Marjorie emerge in Women Wise not only as experts but as companions traveling the same road as readers.

Informative and relatable, Women Wise is a must-read for any woman looking to embark on the rest of life's journey with confidence, grace, and wisdom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781645431640
Publisher: Amplify Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/2022
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Selected in 2015 as a "Woman to Watch" by InvestmentNews, Eleanor Blayney, is nationally recognized as a pioneer for shaping the practice and ethical standards of the financial planning profession. Throughout her career, Eleanor's particular focus was on the financial planning needs of women, and her 2010 book Women's Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence was written to address the money concerns of working women and their families.

Founder and CEO of FJY Financial, LLC, Marjorie L. Fox, JD, CFP®, retired at the end of 2018 after more than thirty years in the financial planning profession. She was named one of the "Twenty Most Influential Women to Watch" by InvestmentNews in 2015 and received NAPFA's Robert J. Underwood Award for Distinguished Service in 2018.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Facts of Life for Older Women 9

Disadvantages Faced by Women 9

Elder Abuse 14

Older and Wiser: Staying Safe, Solvent, and Secure 22

Chapter 2 Transitions (or When Life Happens) 29

The Stages of Transition 32

Anticipation 32

Ending 33

Passage: An Identity Crisis 34

New Normal A New Identity 36

Thinking Partner 36

And Then There Is Aging 37

Navigating Life's Transitions with Grace 39

Contemplating the Final Transition 39

Chapter 3 There's No Place Like Home 41

Home Sweet Home 44

Girls Just Want to Have Fun 47

When Needs Take Priority over Wants 51

One-Stop Shopping with a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) 54

Paying for Long-Term Care 58

Emerging Approaches 61

Chapter 4 Not Enough? Never Enough? 65

Bottom-Up Budgeting 67

Where the Wherewithal? 69

Chapter 5 Choosing Your Medicare Plan 73

Questions to Ask 80

Where Do You Live? 80

Will You Travel Abroad in Your Retirement or Go Back and Forth between Two Residences in Different States? 81

What Kind of Health Insurance Do You Have Now? 82

What Is Your Current Health? What Are Your Expectations for Your Future Health? 83

What Is Your Financial Health? 84

Changing Medicare Choices 86

Chapter 6 Getting Wise to Get More: Your Social Security Benefits 93

Unforced Errors 95

Unforced Error #1: Not Reviewing Your Earnings Record on File with the Social Security Administration 95

Unforced Error #2: Not Knowing What Social Security Benefits You Are Eligible For 98

Unforced Error #3: Failing to Sequence Benefits to Increase Lifetime Social Security Income 102

Unforced Error #4: Claiming Benefits Early 107

Unforced Error #5: Claiming Benefits Early and Continuing to Earn Income 110

The "Miss It by an Inch, Miss It by a Mile" Rules 112

MBIMBM Rule #1: Your Work History 112

MBIMBM Rule #2: Your Marital Status 113

MBIMBM Rule #3: Your Employers 115

MBIMBM Rule #4: Taxation of Your Social Security Benefits 117

MBIMBM Rule #5: IRMAA 119

Chapter 7 Annuities: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 123

Promises 126

The Promise of Income 126

The Promise of a Fixed Rate of Accumulation 129

The Promise of Tax Deferral 129

The Promise of Delay 130

What's Not to Like about Annuities? 131

Questions for Older Women 137

Chapter 8 Welcome to Your Decumulation Years! 141

The Search for a Sustainable Withdrawal Rate 143

Chapter 9 Your Retirement Paycheck 161

Traditional Income Strategies 163

Traditional Income Strategy #1: Income Floor 164

Traditional Income Strategy #2: Yield Only 164

Traditional Income Strategy #3: Total Return 166

Traditional Income Strategy #4: Bucketing 168

A Better Time Segmentation Strategy: Dedicated Portfolio Theory 169

Asset Dedication's Implementation of DPT 171

#1 Target Cash Flows 172

#2 The Critical Path® System 173

#3 The Three Subportfolios 174

Cash Portfolio 174

Income Portfolio 175

Growth Portfolio 176

The Critical Path® System: A Reality Check 178

Implementation 181

Disadvantages of Using Asset Dedication to Implement DPT 183

Do-It-Yourself DPT 185

Chapter 10 Housing Wealth: Another Source of Cash 187

Why Call This Mortgage "Reverse"? 188

Do You Qualify? 190

Does a Reverse Mortgage Fit Your Circumstances? 191

How Much Can You Borrow, and When Can You Borrow It? 191

Uses of a Reverse Mortgage 194

Emergency/Opportunity Fund 194

Monthly Payments 198

Repayment of a Conventional Mortgage 199

Purchase of a New Home 200

Costs 201

Are Reverse Mortgages Expensive? 203

Ongoing Homeowner Obligations 203

Voluntary Payments: Why Pay Principal, Interest, and MIPs If You Don't Have To? 204

Repayment 205

Next Steps 207

Marjorie's Story 211

Chapter 11 Estate Planning: A Gift 213

Incapacity 215

Medical Decisions 215

What Happens If You Don't Plan Ahead? 218

Financial Decisions 219

What Happens If You Don't Plan Ahead? 224

After You Are Gone 224

Probate 225

Nonprobate 226

What Happens If You Don't Plan Ahead? 228

What Happens If You Divorce, Separate, or Have a Life Partner? 229

Hiring an Estate Attorney 231

Step One 231

Step Two 231

Whom Should You Choose? 232

Chapter 12 We Need to Talk 233

Before "the Talk" 240

Taking "the Talk" Live 244

Conclusion: It's about Time 247

Time to Play 250

Time to Make the Bed 250

Time to Explore 252

Time to Connect 252

Time to Say No 254

Time to Say Yes 256

Time to Inspire 257

Parting Thoughts 258

Acknowledgments 261

About the Authors 263

Notes 266

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