Plan for long-term care
Citing a bracing pair of statistics from Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar's 2007 book "On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance," Ettinger says, "Eighty percent of men die married, while 80 percent of women die single."
Your financial plan needs to include your expectations about who will help care for you as you age and what financial resources you will have available for your medical and personal caregiving needs. If you buy long-term care insurance, the type of policy you choose depends greatly on how much assistance you can expect from family members.
The market for long-term care insurance "is a landscape that is changing daily," Ettinger declares. "Most of the insurance companies are now going to raise the premiums for women because women are outliving men. From an actuarial standpoint, they are a lot less attractive clients."
For married couples, Scharr-Bykowsky believes the woman's needs should carry more weight in the decision to buy long-term care coverage.
"She's going to be the one who's probably going to be by herself," Scharr-Bykowsky says.