There are plenty of social reasons why women may feel more pressure to create an estate plan when compared with men of similar ages. Women typically fill caregiving roles in their families and communities, which may mean that they have people or possibly even animals that depend on them. They may feel pressured to provide support and financial resources for those dependent parties.
Women are also often aware of how vulnerable they can be to abuse and abandonment later in life and may worry that if they don’t put an estate plan in place, family members or caregivers might steal from them or mistreat them. These social reasons are sufficient justification for estate planning, even if the reasons that apply universally are not enough to inspire someone to act. However, there is also a scientifically verifiable reason why the average woman may need to consider estate planning more carefully than a man.
Women live longer than men on average
The average woman in the United States will live longer than a man with similar baseline health born the same year as her. The average man in the United States will live to 76 based on data from 2018 and 2019, but women on average live to over 81 years.
Those extra years of life may mean that women preparing for retirement need more resources to cover their costs for care and basic daily needs. Especially when one considers that women often earn less than men in similar careers, it may be even more important for female professionals preparing for retirement to have a careful estate planning place to ensure they can support themselves during their retirement years.
The care needs of women can be different
Health issues may present differently in men and women as they age. Women already have a different center of gravity than men and a different tilt to their hips, which may mean that they are at higher risk of falls and thus the need for nursing home care as they grow older. Women also typically have lower bone density than men, which means that as they age, their risk of a fracture could be even higher.
Recognizing these risks and engaging in estate planning ahead of time with the assistance of a compassionate legal professional can help to protect women who are worried about their quality of life and safety during their golden years.