Women face multiple unique challenges when planning for retirement, from having longer life expectancies to managing caregiving responsibilities to contending with a gender pay gap. Managing uncertainty in retirement, planning for healthcare costs, and creating a guaranteed income stream are other common themes women bring up when preparing for retirement.
Roberta Eckert, a vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, writes in a Nationwide blog post that financial advisors have a great opportunity to help their female clients “address gaps in their retirement plan while focusing on their long-term goals.”
Eckert notes that women are the biggest drivers of wealth, controlling nearly $11 trillion in U.S. total household assets and expected to manage almost $30 trillion by 2030. As a group, they’re also well-educated and pursuing higher-earning careers or running their own businesses.
Plus, many women are marrying later in life and building strong financial habits and wealth on their own. And when women do start a family, they often assume the role of financial decision-maker and manager.
“These are relatively new roles for the modern woman; it’s likely her mother or grandmother had more traditional roles that didn’t include worrying about financial planning,” Eckert writes. “As such, financial professionals have an opportunity to act as a guide for female clients as they navigate uncharted territory.”
Currently, roughly half of women are saving for retirement through a 401(k) or other retirement accounts (like an IRA). However, they need to do more when planning for retirement, and they’d rather not do it alone. So, to earn women’s trust and business, Eckert advises that financial advisors do the following:
- Treat female clients as individuals, not a niche or category.
- Get to know who they are as people and what’s important to their financial futures.
- Listen and ask questions. Avoid jargon. Don’t assume you know what they need.
- Create a safe, judgment-free zone where they feel comfortable learning and asking questions.
- Lead with empathy to build trust. Become a trusted partner in their financial planning journeys.
- Engage them in the conversation and demonstrate that you understand their needs, values, and goals.
According to Eckert, these tactics “are invaluable in cultivating and creating long-lasting relationships with female clients.”
“What’s more, developing a base of female clients is important to the success and longevity of your practice,” writes Eckert. “As this influential demographic continues to accumulate and control more of the country’s wealth, they are going to need help solving their retirement planning challenges.”
Nationwide offers a variety of actively managed ETFs for advisors that cater to a range of investment exposures and strategies for those seeking retirement income options for their clients as part of their bigger retirement planning pictures.
For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Retirement Income Channel.