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Women, health and wealth

The connection between health and wealth is becoming more prevalent in women’s lives

The topics of health and wealth are intrinsically tied. As we age, it is important to maintain our health to enjoy a long life. And, as we live longer lives and average life expectancies rise around the world, it is important to have the financial health to support ourselves in later years.

Women are spending much of their late years without their partner. During this time several women feel the burden of financial stress because many were left out of conversations around wealth management prior to this period.

  • 5 women will live beyond 100 years for every man*
  • Average age of widowhood in Canada is 56 years*

*Statistics Canada

Although some families share the responsibility of caregiving, the onus is often left on women to deliver.

  • 2/3 of the care provided to older adults is done by women**
    • Family Caregiver Alliance, Facts and Figures, 2015

The financial impact of this is therefore felt much more by women, as many feel the need to remove themselves from the workforce in order to care for loved ones. Time lost from work can add up to 8 years to care for children, up to 4 years to care for parents, and up to 2 years to care for spouses. This can result in an even greater disengagement around conversations of wealth management.

The average woman spends 44% of her adult life out of the workforce compared to 28% for men**

** Age Wave estimate, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

While women tend to lend themselves to the care of others, a larger discussion needs to be addressed around health complications that come with age. These health concerns reflect directly on the financial health women are facing in their later years and can impact wealth planning during that time.

  • Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from dementia, Parkinson’s and even stroke
    • 2018 Study Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam
  • 70% of Alzheimer’s sufferers are women
    • Women’s Brain Health Initiative
  • 60% of Canadian women age 45-54 do not have a written financial plan
    • Leger survey, Financial Planning Standards Council, 2018

Greater strides must be taken to include women in the conversation of wealth management earlier in order to minimize stress around their financial health later on.

Understand the realities. Plan for your future.