weather icon Clear

How women can plan for increasing longevity

During your lifetime, a remarkable change has taken place. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy at birth for women in the United States increased from 74.7 years in 1970 to 80.4 years in 2005. At age 65 the average female life span has increased from 17 to 20 years; and women now outlive men by about five years from birth, on average.

Greater longevity is a blessing for most women but it also has created new planning challenges.

Among those challenges:

-making sure that assets and income last through retirement;

-protecting retirement income against inflation; and

-avoiding asset spend-down in the event of long-term medical or nursing home care.

What Increased Longevity Means for Women

-According to the U.S. Census, the number of U.S. women age 65 and over nearly doubled between 1970 and 2006 – from 11.6 million to 21.6 million. Over the same time period, the number of women age 85 and older increased by nearly four times – from 970,000 to 3.6 million.

-Social Security data indicates that at age 65, the average U.S. woman now has a 51 percent chance of living to age 85; a 30 percent chance of surviving to age 90; and an 11 percent probability of reaching age 95. About 80 percent of “centenarians” in the U.S. are women.

-Women are much more likely than men to live alone in their older ages. According to the National Institute on Aging, 48 percent of the women ages 75-84 and 57 percent of those 85 and older live alone.

-Women living alone at older ages are less likely to have a caretaker, and are thus more likely to require nursing home care. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, there are now four females to every male living in a nursing home.

The average age at which most people take retirement is now estimated to be about 62. So, women must plan ahead to make their assets and income last for the duration of their retirement years—quite possibly between 25-30 years. They must also factor in the effects of inflation and potential long term care expenses. With today’s nursing home costs averaging close to $80,000 per year, even a few months stay can deplete a retirement nest egg in fairly short order.

How Inflation Threatens the Financial Security of Older Women

Because women live longer on average than men, they are more vulnerable to “purchasing power erosion” caused by inflation. Since 1970, the average annual rate of inflation in the U.S. has averaged 4.6 percent, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Extending that rate of increase over a retirement period of 30 years, the purchasing power of $1,000 would be eroded to just $243.

Most retired Americans have one source of income that is inflation-adjusted to offset the erosion of purchasing power – Social Security. Under current law, the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increases benefits annually by the same amount as the annual increase in the CPI. For 2009, for example, all Social Security retirement benefits increased by 5.8 percent under the COLA.

However, Social Security provides somewhat less protection for women than it does for men. According to an analysis by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, women receive, on average, about $2,800 less in benefits than do men. This is partly due to the fact that more women spend time outside the workforce during child-raising years than men, and thus have less time to accumulate benefits.

What Can You Do to Plan for Longevity?

If you are approaching retirement – or if you are already retired – what can you do to plan for financial security over longer retirements?

1. Recognize that retirement may last even longer than “average” life expectancy tables indicate.

2. Protect against the potential for outliving your assets through the use of a guaranteed lifetime income stream.

3. Evaluate planning techniques for protecting your income stream against inflation.

4. Evaluate the alternatives for protecting against the cost of long-term medical or nursing home care. Long-term care insurance (LTC) can help cover the costs associated with a stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility or for a home health care aide.

5. Work with a financial professional who understand the challenges today’s women face in planning for longer retirements.

In summary, greater longevity has increased the challenge of retirement planning for all Americans, especially women. By addressing these issues as soon as possible with the benefit of sound financial guidance, you can increase your confidence in planning for lifelong financial security.

Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the insurer.

According to a 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, private room nursing home rates rose 3.3 percent to $79,935 a year or $219 a day.

This information is for general educational purposes only and should not be considered specific financial or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified advisor regarding your individual circumstances.

Winfield C. Greenwood, RFC® is the owner/founder of Redstone Financial Group, LLC, an independent financial services firm based in Las Vegas. He shares his expertise on business and personal financial planning with the RJ every week. Contact him at (702) 475-6363,wgreenwood@redstonefg.com, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada’s real estate industry blamed wrong enemy when bubble burst

State lawmakers approved a bill in 2015 — a decade after Las Vegas’ wild building spree — that raised barriers to pursuing lawsuits alleging shoddyconstruction. A measure now working its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature would wipe out or change provisions of that law.

CEOs get $800K pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Pay for CEOs at S&P 500 companies rose to a median of $12 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation, according to data analyzed by Equilar.