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How Can Today’s Working Woman Strategize for Retirement Comfort?

Planning for retirement used to be fairly easy: You contribute to senior benefit plans through the government, and you put some aside in 401(k) plans. If you were really focused, you might have opened a stock and bond portfolio for private investments. After the financial crash of 2008, however, those nest eggs might be so financially nutritious right now, especially for females who live longer and get paid less than men. How can you, the average working female, strategize for an easier retirement?

Same Basic Rules Apply

First, don’t toss aside what worked in the past. Continue your private or employment investment strategy. You might want to closely examine how your retirement dollar is invested by looking at the individual companies in your 401(k) mutual funds and the overall risk categories.

The rule of paying yourself first and last still applies: Not only should you always deposit money in your savings and/or investment strategy but also whatever money is left in your budget at the end of the month. Allow those special-purchase savings as well; those amounts should be included in your budget already.

Change Retirement Paradigms

Rethink how you think of your retirement environment. Owning your own home in which you have lived for decades may be a comforting thought, but can your retirement withstand the extended home owner’s insurance, maintenance costs, landscaping costs and utility bills?

Have you planned for escalating medical costs from that longer life expectancy and the related drug costs? You have additional co-payments, deductibles and premium payments to budget and provide for on top of the extended living costs over males.

Would a communal living environment be more frugal or more suited for you? You might still have privacy in a separate abode or a private room, but you share dining space, food costs, utility costs and even entertainment costs and venues.

If living in a retirement community or assisted living environment doesn’t suit you, perhaps sharing the private home is a viable alternative. Two retirement incomes on communal costs cost less per person, after all.

Many retirees are turning to an RV life as well. Buying a small plot of land and arranging for power and water hook-ups are becoming more popular. Renting space at an RV campground is also very popular, and RV living provides the freedom of movement when desired or a stable living environment with virtually every convenience of a brick-and-mortar home but at less overall cost.

Change Location Considerations

Changing locations of your retirement is another possibility. Communities in Mexico or Central America where the cost of living and medical care are far lower are springing up or growing almost weekly. Quick trips home for visa requirements are easily handled, especially when it’s a group trip: Again, cost sharing helps.

Even if you choose to not live as an “expat,” investigate what part of your country has the lowest overall cost of living – rent, food, utilities and gas, for instance. The less money you have to pay to live, the longer your retirement nest eggs will last.

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