Experts tell us that the average woman lives five years longer than the average man. Often, a wife outlives her husband by a decade or more. For this reason alone, estate and retirement planning is even more important for women than for men in many cases.
If you are a woman, it is imperative that you consider the possibility that you will outlive your spouse and plan accordingly. This means that you will need to plan for enough income and/or assets to support you through your retirement. It also means that you and your spouse should consider the possibility that he will die before you and make sure that you will have immediate access to income and assets. This may mean transferring assets into a trust now, increasing life insurance, and/or changing the title to assets to joint ownership. The important thing is that you consider the possibility that you will outlive your spouse and act accordingly.
You should also consider the fact that it may be left to you to make decisions about assets remaining in your estate after your spouse dies. If the two of you made decisions about who should receive those assets, you need to make sure that your estate plan reflects those decisions. You should also make a point of reviewing your estate plan on an annual basis to make any necessary changes as a result of changes in your family, the law, or tax code.
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