Many single female Baby Boomers have no plans of leaving the workforce anytime soon.
According to a new survey, 50% of single female boomers today are still working, and for many it is simply because they enjoy it. In fact, nearly 80% of these working women are satisfied with their current job position. Unlike the generation before us, these empowered women will be a force to be reckoned with into their golden years.
According to the 2015 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, among single female boomers working full-time, 20% plan to use their retirement years to begin an “encore career.”
I spoke with Estate Planning Attorney Ann Margaret Carrozza about the impact these female boomers may have on the workforce and retirement. Here is what she had to say:
Boomer: What advantages do single female baby boomers have remaining in the workforce into retirement?
Carrozza: There are clear financial advantages to postponing retirement. A delay of even 2-3 years will give one's investments more time to compound while at the same time reducing the number of retirement years to fund. Newly single women may also wish to remain in the workforce in order to meet new people and strengthen social networks.
Boomer: What advice would you give female boomers embarking on a new career in retirement?
Carrozza: Baby Boomers embarking on a new career should rely heavily on their extensive networks of contacts built up over decades. This is an invaluable resource that a twenty-something [can only hope of having]. It is probable that many of these relationships have languished to some degree while a marriage and/ or kids took center stage. That's OK -- don't write anyone off as you seek to reemerge in a new life chapter and career. Consider throwing a networking type cocktail party. Dust off your high school yearbooks -- you may be surprised who shows up. Then commit to maintaining and building upon these connections through social media.
Boomer: For the newly single female boomers that find themselves having to get back in the workforce, how can they fast forward their retirement savings?
Carrozza: The best way to jump start retirement savings is to reduce expenditures. If you live in a city, seriously consider ditching the car. Take a moment to add up repair costs, gas, insurance, registration and inspections. Compare this with the cost of public transportation supplemented by the occasional taxi. If you can sell your car, this should make a nice addition to your retirement savings.
Boomer: Statistics show women are four times as likely to outlive their husbands. What tips for estate planning would you give to these women?
Carroza: As an estate planning attorney, I advise all women to view their estate planning through the lens of a single person. Whether we are single by choice, divorce, or widowhood, the vast majority of women will, at some point in their adult lives, be single. This requires us to focus on payment sources for future possible long term care needs. Investigating Long Term Care Insurance options is a must. Next, is the selection of people who will make medical and financial decisions in the event one loses mental capacity. If there are no ideal Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy candidates that spring to mind, then I encourage women to start recruiting a care planning team. This process can take several years and should always be viewed as a “work in progress.” Our lives change. Therefore, it is critically important to build flexibility into one's estate planning documents
Boomer: What are the significant sources for retirement funding for single female boomer women?
Carroza: The ideal source for retirement funds is a hobby or pastime that generates cash. Several of my clients have turned a passion for antiquing and garage sales into a profitable sideline of cleaning, painting and reselling furniture. Other clients have purchased vacation properties that they rent out during the peak season and spend time rehabbing and upgrading the property during the off season. Newly single women can often free up cash by dropping life insurance which named their ex husbands as beneficiaries. It is amazing how many people neglect to do this.