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Retirement Strategies for Single, Divorced & Widowed Women

By Yusuf Osman, MBA

Many women are looking for financial guidance these days. In a world full of uncertainty, it has never been more important to get your finances in order. Fortunately, there are some time-tested retirement planning strategies that can help you get started.

All the Single Ladies

Women have a few important considerations to keep in mind when planning for retirement. For starters, women are living longer than men. As of 2021, the average life expectancy of a male was 80 years old, while the average life expectancy of a female was 84. (1) Many women are outliving men, which means women need to prepare to be financially independent of their spouses in their later years.

Not only do women outlive men, but they are also becoming more independent from men, even in their younger years. More marriages are ending in divorce, as over 40% of Canadians are expected to have their marriage end in divorce before their 50th anniversary. (2) On top of that, more adults in the Western world are single today than at any other period of time. In the United States, 31% of all adults are single. (3) Given all these numbers, it is more important for ladies to become financially independent than ever before!

More Savings Less Spending

How can women start planning for their retirement journey? By saving for the future! As simple as this sounds, most of the working population have not been able to successfully save. In fact, a whopping 78% of adults live paycheque to paycheque and do not have any savings in reserve for emergencies. (4) Many individuals do not have enough money saved for a few months down the road, let alone a few decades of retirement.

What makes matters more challenging for women is the current wage gap. For a variety of reasons, women in the Western world are still not earning at the same pace as their male counterparts. The need to budget is extremely important for those that are not earning a high wage. Another less common strategy would be a career shift into a more lucrative field. and other job boards give details about their highest paying industries. (5)

Harness the Power of Compounding

Once you have some money saved up, it’s time to take action. The unfortunate reality of inflation is the purchasing power of your dollars will go down over time. This is why it is better to start investing sooner rather than later. As you will see below, even a little bit of money invested over a long period of time makes a big difference!

One example of the power of compounding returns is the rule of seven. Essentially, you can estimate the amount of time you need to double your investment by dividing 72 by the rate of return. If your return was 10% per year, it would take you 7.2 years to double your money. Finding a way to invest just a few hundred dollars each month can help younger women reach their retirement goals decades later. Time is on their side!

Decide What Is Right for You

Now that you have decided to start investing, it is imperative that you and your advisor decide on an investment strategy before you begin. A new investor should be aware of the saying “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” This means you should not invest all of your money into one investment; rather, you should choose a few different investments that are different from each other. This way you have a better chance of being protected in case one of your investments falters.

In addition to things like diversification and asset allocation you need to determine what’s right for you. Do you want to follow conventional wisdom that espouses a “don’t worry, it’s long-term” attitude whenever the market declines? Or does a more active “buy low, sell when the markets look particularly vulnerable” strategy resonate with you? You’re smart, analytical and intuitive. You will know what’s right for you. While you can’t completely eliminate risk in your portfolio, you can ensure that the amount of risk you take correlates with the level of potential reward for you to gain. It is more than possible to match your investments to your goals while still being able to sleep at night during market downturns.

Team Up With a Professional

Traditionally, the world of finance has been a space dominated by men, but that has changed these days. There are plenty of women out there taking action and achieving financial freedom on their own. I have dedicated my career to helping women learn successful retirement strategies. The financial decisions you make today can have a lasting impact for decades to come.

If you want to partner with a trusted advisor who understands your unique situation and encourages you to find confidence in your financial future, contact me today at (613) 230-5895 or

About Yusuf

Yusuf Osman is a Senior Investment Advisor at Argosy Securities Inc., an independent full-service financial advisory firm dedicated to helping clients create financial freedom, security, and peace of mind. With over 30 years of experience in the finance industry, Yusuf is committed to educating, engaging, and inspiring as many people as possible to take control of their finances. He spends his days developing a thorough understanding of his clients’ lives, concerns, and dreams to help them build a financial plan that keeps pace with changes in both the markets and their lives. Yusuf graduated from the University of Ottawa with a bachelor’s degree in Science and earned an MBA in Finance from Queen’s University. To learn more about Yusuf and his Dynamic Wealth Program for Women, go to or connect with him on LinkedIn.







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