Those born during the baby boomer generation are just beginning to reach the age of retirement. If you are a woman from this generation, you should pay particular attention to both your retirement plan and your estate plan because you are statistically more likely to outlive your spouse than he is to outlive you.
For those people who are part of the baby boomer generation the traditional male dominated household was the norm. Men worked to support the family and generally made major financial decisions, including retirement and estate planning decisions. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in a wife who is left in the dark regarding those plans. This can create a number of problems if the wife outlives the husband – a scenario that is statistically likely to occur.
Life expectancy charts tell us that women, on average, outlive men in the United States by just over five years. Therefore, your estate plan needs to account for the possibility that you will need sufficient income and/or assets to support yourself throughout your golden years. It also means that you may be responsible for gifting all the remaining estate assets when you die. If you and your spouse made plans regarding the division of estate assets, you need to ensure that your estate plan reflects those decisions. You will also need to periodically review your estate plan to make sure that changes in the law, the tax code, or your family itself don’t call for an update to your estate plan.
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