Retirement is a wonderful time for many, with anticipation about how they will spend their leisurely days inspiring them to keep working and putting away more money for the future. For those who aren’t as well prepared, it can also be a time of worry and fear. Women especially may need to reevaluate where they are compared to where they need to be to prepare for retirement. Income Disparity Many women of the Baby Boomers generation lived as a traditional family. The woman stayed home and took care of the kids while the husband went to a job. While her job was just as important, it didn’t come with the same income as his. He may have paid into a retirement plan or received a pension to help out with the retirement years. For women who have divorced or been widowed, they may not have the amount they need for the future saved at this point. Perhaps they were relying on their husband’s retirement, which may not be an option if he’s not married to them or not living. Even for those women who held jobs, their pay was often lower than their husband’s income. They may have put less into retirement or none at all. Social Security is also lower because of the lesser income. It can put them in a financial bind if they don’t have their husband to help with retirement funds. How to Plan Now for the Future If the prospect of retiring is scary as it looms ever closer, don’t give up. You may not have as many years to prepare for this stage in life, but it doesn’t mean you can do nothing to make a difference. One of the first things you should do is to determine what you do have for retirement. Consider all savings and investment accounts as well as life insurance policies and real property. Once you know what you have and how much it’s worth, consider whether you may be able to make a better investment. You’ll want to talk to a trusted financial advisor about your money, but you may have a better option for making it grow. For example, a CD or annuity may not be the best way to create growth with your money. You might be better equipped for the future if you invest in stocks or real estate. Estimate Your Life Expectancy No one knows how long they will live, but people’s life expectancies are longer today than in the past. Women are expected to live longer than men, which means they must plan to save more money. You can work with a financial advisor to determine how much money you’ll need for your retirement years. Don’t let the number discourage you if it’s a lot more than what you’ve accumulated. Knowledge is power, and just by knowing this information, you’re better prepared to retire than you were. Start Working Now No matter how close retirement may be, you can add to your funds. Invest more from your paycheck, even if it means doing without some things. Find the best investments to give you a good return with a lower amount of risk. As you work with your advisor to get prepared for retirement, you’ll be less fearful of that day when it arrives. Work now so you can enjoy the time you’ve earned to not have to work.