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An Age-by-Age Guide: Key Financial Questions Every Woman Should Ask

Use our answers to help you take charge of your financial future

YOUR MONEY SHOULD BE WORKING HARD to help you create a secure financial future. That’s true for everyone—but maximizing your financial power is even more important if you’re a woman. According to Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America, women need to take several unique factors into account as they plot out their financial future: The likelihood they won’t be paid as well as their male counterparts, possible career breaks to take care of family, higher health care costs, and a good chance of a longer retirement.

“For all these reasons, women should pay careful attention to every financial decision they make,” she says. Use the following questions—and answers—as a starting point for thinking about how you can seize the opportunities available to you and put your money to best use at every stage of your life.

These are critical years for you to save toward your retirement, because starting to save as early as possible allows your money the greatest amount of time to compound—which is perhaps the most important factor in accumulating enough to retire comfortably.

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Graphic showing a photo of a woman reading in bed. The text next to it reads- Your 40s and 50s

Your life is whizzing ahead, both personally and professionally. You may be married, raising young children, managing the household finances, funding college tuitions, paying a mortgage and tending to a demanding career. How can you best plan for your potential needs later in life, and take advantage of opportunities to advance your progress toward your life goals?

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At this stage, perhaps you’re eyeing retirement, ramping up travel or time with grandchildren, pursuing hobbies, starting your own small business or getting involved in philanthropic endeavors that help you give back and find meaning.

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1 Pew Research Center,  “The narrowing, but persistent, gender gap in pay,” March 2019.
2 U.S. Government Accountability Office, “The Nation’s Retirement System,” 2017.
1 The National Bureau of Economic Research, “Women Working Longer: Facts and Some Explanations,” 2016.
4Inquiry Journal, “Long-Term Care over an Uncertain Future: What Can Current Retirees Expect?,” 2005.
Merrill /Age Wave, “Widowhood and Money: Resiliency, Responsibility,, and Empowerment,” 2018.
6 Ibid.


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