Unique Financial Challenges for Women

Dec 22, 2017 | Rachel Hammell


How to manage the unique financial challenges you have as a woman


In many ways, how you manage your finances has little to do with your gender. The markets, interest rates, and the economy function without considering whether you are a man or a woman. However, women can face unique financial considerations and challenges at all stages of their lives. Whether you have children or you don’t and whether you are married, single, widowed, or divorced.

Let’s start with a few facts1:

  • Today the average Canadian woman is expected to live until the age of 83; four years longer than men.
  • Women comprise 60% of Canada’s populate over 75.
  • 73% of Canadians living in a retirement residence are women and 89% of them live alone.
  • Women tend to leave the work force for periods of time more frequently, earn less, and have lower pensions than men.
  • Whether due to single parenthood, or caring for children after divorce, or for aging parents, the role of primary or sole caregiver still falls with women more frequently than men.

Unique challenges

Longer lifespans mean many women need to fund longer retirements, manage all household finances and family wealth independently, and potentially pay for more ongoing healthcare.

To maintain a comfortable and worry-free retirement, many women will need to save a higher percentage of their earnings, fund more of their retirement income with their savings, and possibly work later in life.

Women should also look closely at their financial and personal needs and goals in light of the many paths their lives may take, with or without a spouse, caring for children or parents, or living alone.

It is critical women are engaged in their own or their family’s finances and prepared to make both expected and unexpected financial decisions – long before as well as into retirement.

The Solution

Get involved. Know your finances. Have a plan.

 Many women have long ago taken their finances into their own hands or are equally involved with their partner. Many women have not. There are many couples without a plan to address the numerous paths their lives may take or the unique challenges one of them may face.

If you are single and without a financial plan it is time to look at both your financial and personal goals, needs and risks, and put one together. If you are part of a couple and you are leaving the finances up to your partner, it is time to an interest. Meet your partner’s advisors, get educated, and ensure you are aware of all aspects of your plan. Ensure your unique risks, needs, and goals have been considered.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from professional financial advice or education, or need help getting a financial plan started, please contact us today.


1. Statscan 2011