ARK Wealth Insights

A Retirement Income Roadmap for Women

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Mar 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM

A Retirement Income Roadmap for Women

More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you? Do you dream of traveling? Pursuing a hobby? Volunteering your time, or starting a new career or business? Simply enjoying more time with your grandchildren? Whatever your goal, you'll need a retirement income plan that's designed to support the retirement lifestyle that you envision, and minimize the risk that you'll outlive your savings.

When will you retire?

Establishing a target age is important, because when you retire will significantly affect how much you need to save. For example, if you retire early at age 55 as opposed to waiting until age 67, you'll shorten the time

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Topics: Women and Investing, Retirement

Advanced Estate Planning Concepts for Women

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Mar 20, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Advanced Estate Planning Concepts for Women

Statistically speaking, women live longer than men; if you're married, that means that the odds are that you're going to outlive your husband. That's significant for a couple of reasons. First, it means that if your husband dies before you, you'll likely inherit his estate. More importantly, though, it means that to a large extent, you'll probably have the last word about the final disposition of all of the assets you've accumulated during your marriage. But advanced estate planning isn't just for women who are or were married. You'll want to consider whether these concepts and strategies apply to your specific circumstances.

Transfer taxes

When you transfer your property during your lifetime or at your death, your transfers may be subject to federal gift tax, federal estate tax, and federal generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. (The top estate and gift tax rate is 40%, and the GST tax rate is 40%.) Your transfers may also be subject to state taxes.

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Topics: Women and Investing, Estate Planning

A Woman's Guide to Health Care in Retirement

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Mar 8, 2018 8:00:00 AM

A Woman's Guide to Health Care in Retirement

At any age, health care is a priority. But when you retire, you should probably focus more on health care than ever before. That's why it's particularly important for women to factor in the cost of health care, including long-term care, as part of their retirement plan.

How much you'll spend on health care during retirement generally depends on a number of variables including when you retire, how long you live, your relative health, and the cost of medical care in your area. Another important factor to consider is the availability of Medicare. Generally, you'll be eligible for Medicare when you reach age 65. But what if you retire at a younger age? You'll need some way to pay for your health care until Medicare kicks in. Your employer may offer health insurance coverage to its retiring employees, but this is the exception rather than the rule. If your employer doesn't extend health benefits, you may be able to get insurance coverage through your spouse's plan. If that's not an option, you may need to buy a private health insurance policy (which could be costly) or extend your employer-sponsored coverage through COBRA.

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Topics: Women and Investing, Retirement

Women: Moving Forward Financially after the Loss of a Spouse

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Feb 15, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Women: Moving Forward Financially after the Loss of a Spouse

The loss of a spouse can be a devastating, life-changing event. Due to longer life expectancies, women are more likely to face this situation.

Becoming a widow at any age can be one of the most difficult challenges a woman must face. Not only is there the emotional loss of a spouse, but also the task of handling everything — including all the finances — without the help of a spouse. Even if you've always handled your family's finances, the number of financial and legal matters that have to be settled in the weeks and months following your loved one's death can be overwhelming.

Sadly, for many women, becoming a widow is a first step toward economic hardship. That's why it's critical for you to organize your finances after your spouse's death and take ongoing steps to secure your financial future and that of your family.

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Topics: Women and Investing

Women and Estate Planning Basics

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Jan 25, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Women and Estate Planning Basics

When it comes to estate planning, women have unique concerns. The fact is that women live an average of 5.0 years longer than men.* That's important because it means that there's a greater chance that you'll need your assets to last for a longer period of time and a greater need to plan for incapacity. It also means that you'll need to take responsibility for your own estate plan.

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan is a map that reflects the way you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled in case of your incapacity or death. It allows you to control what happens to your property if you die or become incapacitated.

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Topics: Women and Investing, Estate Planning

Women and Money: Taking Control of Your Finances

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Jan 2, 2018 9:02:36 AM

Women and Money: Taking Control of Your Finances

As a woman, you have financial needs that are unique to your situation in life. Perhaps you would like to buy your first home. Maybe you need to start saving for your child's college education. Or you might be concerned about planning for retirement. Whatever your circumstances may be, it's important to have a clear understanding of your overall financial position.

That means constructing and implementing a plan. With a financial plan in place, you'll be better able to focus on your financial goals and understand what it will take to reach them. The three main steps in creating and implementing an effective financial plan involve:

  • Developing a clear picture of your current financial situation
  • Setting and prioritizing financial goals and time frames
  • Implementing appropriate saving and investment strategies
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Topics: Women and Investing

Women and Retirement Planning

Posted by Matthew_Hanshaw-CFP on Dec 5, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Women and Retirement Planning

Women face special challenges when planning for retirement. Because their careers are often interrupted to care for children or elderly parents, women may spend less time in the workforce and earn less money than men in the same age group. As a result, their retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits are often lower. In addition to earning less, women generally live longer than men, and they may face having to stretch limited retirement savings and benefits over many years.

To meet these financial challenges, you'll need to make retirement planning a priority.

Begin saving now

To help improve your chances of achieving a financially comfortable retirement, start with a realistic

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Topics: Women and Investing, Retirement

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