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Some things women should keep in mind when estate planning

A recent article published here in Fort Myers suggests that many women suffer from what one study terms "Bag Lady Syndrome." As ominous as it may sound, the condition is nothing more than a fear of losing their financial independence. Of those suffering from Bag Lady Syndrome, over 60 percent were the primary earner in their family.

Experts note that this fear is rooted in needs that are different than men. For instance, women generally live longer than men so they require more retirement savings. In addition, women generally earn less for the same position as men and also have fewer earning years because of time spent raising children. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome Bag Lady Syndrome.

When it comes to estate planning, some of the things experts suggest women do to limit the anxiety of losing their financial independence is to generate a durable power of attorney and living will. Women are also advised to check on beneficiary designation on retirement plans and bank accounts. Finally, it is wise to consider whether one's assets would be more properly managed in a trust. From budgeting to proper estate planning, there are ways to make sure one is taken care of as they age.

All of these items can help ease the fear of losing financial security later in life. In addition, women and married couples may achieve peace of mind by discussing their financial and estate planning concerns with a professional, who may be able to help assuage their fears and help them make sure their assets are protected and their financial independence is never in jeopardy.

Source: Florida Weekly, "Women have different needs than men for their financial security," Dec. 10, 2014

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