Plan the Path to Your Retirement

Marshall Rathmell |


Head of the household or heart of a household, women need to pay attention to personal finances.  

It is more challenging for women to fund their retirement because:

  • Women live longer and therefore have more years in retirement
  • Women have greater healthcare expenses
  • Women generally earn less and contribute less to their retirement savings
  • Women often have breaks from work so they don’t work a full career

You can’t change your destination in one step but you can change your direction in one step.

Do you know where you are today on your progress towards your financial goals? How are you preparing for your retirement?

There are 3 major markers you are missing if you don’t know both your goal and where you are today:

  1. How do you measure your progress?
  2. How do you know if you are on track?
  3. If not on track which way do you turn to get back on track?

These challenges apply to everyone but especially to women who need to make efficient use of their finances to reach their goals.

Using a GPS analogy, a GPS needs to know your current location, i.e. where you are today, and your destination, for example, your retirement goal. You input these 2 points, and click “start navigation”. You immediately see your route and the estimated time to your destination. As you continue driving, the GPS will give you an updated time to your destination which may be longer due to traffic delays and stops for gas or food. Your GPS measures your progress and keeps you informed.

A GPS quickly lets you know, sometimes in an annoying way, when you have missed a turn or taken a wrong turn. It identifies you are not on route to your destination and lets you know. The GPS makes recommendations on how to get back on your route by instructing you to turn around or follow another path to your original route.

Financial goal planning and monitoring works like a GPS by mapping out a route between where you are now and where you want to go. The goal planning, like the GPS, tells you how long it will take to reach your destination. Periodic monitoring measures your progress towards your destination – are you ahead of schedule, on schedule or behind schedule? Goal monitoring will identify if you are off track and will map out a way to get back on track.

When would you want to know if you are not on track? The sooner the better! While you still have time to make a difference.

-Sandra Cleveland-