Hegna's Hotseat

Women, Retirement, and COVID-19


few years ago, I wrote a blog post that discussed how single women are faced with certain unique risks in retirement. Women are subject to a lot more financial risks than men are, and many of those risks are unique to them! March is Women’s History Month, so I wanted to take some time to write specifically about women and retirement again. The most important risks to know for women are increased longevity risk and less ability to save for retirement due to earning less throughout their working life. All of the risks women face have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nationwide recently surveyed American women on how COVID-19 had affected their ability to save for retirement. When asked about their biggest financial concerns, 36% of participants reported that portfolio losses caused by the pandemic had become their top concern. That’s pretty understandable ¬– 2020 was one of the most turbulent years for the stock market that we’ve seen in a long time! 72% of the surveyed women reported that the pandemic has negatively impacted how much they have been able to save for retirement. These are unprecedented times, but I don’t think all hope is lost for women to achieve an optimal retirement. This industry can still provide the guaranteed lifetime income that will help women protect their portfolios from further pandemic-related losses.

Annuities and life insurance can reduce or even eliminate many of the risks women face in retirement – and the women in the Nationwide study know it! Nearly 60% of surveyed women said that having an annuity in their portfolio would help them feel more secure against market risk AND the possibility of outliving their savings. Since life insurance companies are on both sides of longevity risk, they are able to neutralize that risk through mortality credits. No other industry can do that!

Take some time this month to talk to your female clients. Help them understand the unique risks they face, and then show them how life insurance and annuities can take those risks off the table so they can retire optimally.

See you on my next blog post,

-Tom Hegna

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