What Every Woman Truly Fears: The Bag Lady Syndrome

Bag Lady, by Carol Marine

Women want to plan for their financial future, but what they often see in the years ahead frightens them.

The math is simple. Women tend to live longer than men. And living longer carries a hefty price tag.

We have an unmarried client just entering her 70s. She has well over a million dollars saved up, and scarcely needs to touch it, due to guaranteed annual income from Social Security and a company pension.

But what is the one question she asks us repeatedly, as if to reassure herself? “Do you think I could run out of money and have nothing more to live on?” she worries constantly.

How much more does it cost to be female? Maddy Dychtwald, author and co-founder of Age Wave, a demographic think tank, says women’s average out-of-pocket retirement health-care and long- term-care expenses add up to $194,000 more than men’s.

No wonder, then, that well over half the women surveyed by Dychtwald’s firm said they fear running out of money if they live too long. It’s the proverbial bag lady syndrome.

Almost half of women say they are afraid they’ll run out of money by age 80, the average life expectancy, reports Dychtwald in an article for the Wall Street Journal. (And of course, half of women will live longer than that.)

We’ve specialized in partnering with women clients for over two decades, and believe there’s an easy way to combat these fears.

Plan. Save. Invest.

By planning, we can shape the future, and make sure it’s a place where we can enjoy and embrace the lives we’ve helped create for ourselves.

We can also save and invest for the future.

According to Dychtwald, women confess their No. 1 financial regret is “not having invested more of their money.”

After all, when you save and invest wisely, you’re creating greater wealth for your future needs.

We understand why many women fear not having enough to face the future. But the steps needed to create a better future – Plan. Save. Invest. – are ones we’ve been helping women master for decades, and we know how powerful they really are. For women, the path to a better future truly starts today.

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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