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    Posted December 4, 2014 by

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    Retirement Challenges for Women in Southern California and Everywhere

    With over 3 million residents, Orange County is the third largest county in California and the sixth largest in the country. It has more people than 21 individual U.S. states.

    Upper middle class and well-off Americans love O.C. and Southern California in general for their year-round warm weather, scenic coastlines, ocean views and conservative lifestyle. Many people choose to retire there, especially women.

    On average, women live past 80, five years more than men, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent U.S. Census data shows that, at age 85, twice as many women are living as men. WiserWomen.org then tells us the obvious result: 80% of men die married, while 80% of women die single.

    Roll it all together and it means Southern Cali is home to hundreds of thousands of wealthy pre-retirees and retirees who, despite their wealth, are in constant search of the right ingredients for an effective retirement plan, especially one that will meet the needs of the longer-living female retirees, whether single or widowed.

    Many women find themselves in a life-changing transition from losing a job, a marriage or death, lacking the tools necessary to ensure a stress-free retirement.
    FoxBusiness.com reports: “Female baby boomers might have helped crack the glass ceiling, broke college student stereotypes and re-crafted the image of working mothers, but new research shows they are grossly unprepared for retirement.”

    Vicki Gunvalson is a self-made businesswoman, founder of Coto Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., and author of “Let’s Talk Money: A Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Wealth.” The mantra she lives by and teachers her clients is, “Preserve, Plan & Protect Your Future.” “There are certain things anyone can do, especially women-owned businesses and women building and managing retirement plans, that will insure against unforeseen risks and earn a guaranteed income stream. But it takes specialized knowledge to do it.”

    According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, close to half of baby boomer women do not have any retirement strategy. And more than half expect to work after 65 or simply do not plan to retire. Explanations range from the traditional – their husbands handled the finances – to the more modern – they’re busy working or running a business and cannot afford to retire.

    By taking time to learn about it, or consulting a profession, retirees would learn that a product like “Index life has the greatest growth potential” as an insurance product, says Robert Baranoff, senior vice president of LIMRA, a leader in insurance research, development and learning. “Sales of index universal life insurance have grown 192 percent from 2006 through 2010 -- an average of 38 percent annually,” reports LIMRA, undoubtedly due to the smart value it provides.

    “Indexed Annuities can be a safe growth product for women,” Gunvalson agrees, “and knowing when and how to roll over their 401(k)s to IRAs can be an equally crucial decision that could save or cost women thousands in taxes. Everything counts. Buying the right annuities, obtaining the best insurance, avoiding tax pitfalls – many factors must be juggled to provide the right balance of asset preservation and guaranteed, lifetime income. Recent loss of a job can also put women in a tailspin, but there are solid steps that can be taken to protect the future.”

    The Woman’s Institute for a Secure Retirement reaches the same conclusion: “Retirement planning is important for everyone—but it’s especially important for women. The issues faced by women in particular are compounded by a number of factors, the result of which paints a startling post-retirement picture for millions of women who have worked their entire lives in one capacity or another.”

    Whether enjoying the coastal beauty of Southern California or living inland, today’s retiring and retired women face challenges in their retirement plans. There’s no better time than now to address them.
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