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What challenges and opportunities do women face in planning for retirement? I often say that my male clients can learn a lot from my female clients. Joining us today is Marjorie Fox, JD and CFP ®, co-author of WOMEN WISE: The Essential Guide to Lifestyle and Financial Decisions As We Age.
- The disadvantages women face in planning for retirement
- The advantages women bring to retirement
- How to navigate the transition to retirement, and also the major life transitions in retirement
- The top 3 financial decisions women need to prepare for
- What people should look for in a financial advisor – and what to look out for
- Why being able to say No is important in retirement
- The most pleasant – and unpleasant – surprises in her own transition to retirement
- Do’s and Don’ts she’d offer women listening on planning for retirement
Founder and CEO of FJY Financial, LLC, a financial planning and investment advisory firm, Marjorie L. Fox, JD, CFP®, retired at the end of 2018 after more than thirty years in the financial planning profession. FJY Financial is known for its white paper “Implementing Internships,” its merger in 2014 with LifePoint Financial Partners in Midland, Texas, and for an internal succession plan that succeeded in passing Marjorie’s ownership interest in the firm to the next generation of owners. The firm was named a “Best Place to Work” by the Washington Business Journal in 2013 and won the Schwab Impact Pacesetter Award in 2015.
Marjorie served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation. She was named one of the “Twenty Most Influential Women to Watch” by Investment News in 2015 and in 2018 received NAPFA’s Robert J. Underwood Award for Distinguished Service.
Marjorie is a fourth-generation Californian who earned her B.A. from Pomona College and a law degree from UCLA. For almost forty years, she has called Virginia home. She and her longtime friend and professional colleague Eleanor Blayney, MBA, CFP® wrote Women Wise together in an effort to help single women in their 60s and 70s make financial and lifestyle decisions.
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On Common Mistakes to Avoid
“…And we call some of those mistakes, unforced errors and other mistakes, MIBIs and MIBMs – miss it by an inch, miss it by a mile. We define unforced errors as the mistakes you won’t make if you take the time and make the effort to understand [things like ] Social Security…The one we probably emphasize most is claiming benefits early. In some cases, whether it’s for health reasons or financial reasons, it makes the most sense for an individual to claim Social Security early, but in most of the cases, it just really pays to wait to age 70. There’s no point in waiting after that. But depending on whether your Full Retirement Age is 66 or 66 and 6 months, you get an 8% increase in the benefit by waiting 8% per year. We emphasize that several times in the book: wait, if you can. There’s miss it by an inch, and this is Eleanor [Blayney’s] genius again with these mistakes. You come close to a benefit, close to minimizing income taxes, or close to avoiding an increase in the Medicare premium, but you miss it by an inch and the implications are major. Just as an example, we talk qualifying for a benefit based on your ex-spouse’s earnings record. It requires 10 years. Not a day less than 10 years. I think people tend not to make this mistake as much, but it’s an important reminder.”
On Aging in Place
“…the vast majority of retirees want to age in place, but only 41% think they probably will be able to. So have a Plan B.”
On Saying No
“I know how tempting it is to say yes to every opportunity. At least I did immediately after retirement. I wanted to stay involved. And I wanted to stay involved because with retirement, I’d lost my identity. I’d lost structure, I’d lost my purpose. I’d lost relationships. So I said yes to anything and everything that came and approached me. And then I realized: this isn’t working… But it’s also not a good thing to say no to everything either. And as I learned, I decided to say no to build rebuilding an aging, single family home. My son wanted me to do this because he was born there. He grew up there, but he was living in California. Didn’t make any sense at all. And I also stepped back from a non-profit board. I originally said yes, because it seemed like a good cause and would fill my time. And then I realized that old saying, if it doesn’t rock your boat…or whatever. So I haven’t regretted those no’s. I realized as I finally started paying attention to my time, that I only had so much bandwidth – and I wanted to have bandwidth to say yes to the right thing or things when they came along.”
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Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.