We all know that women live longer than men. Have you thought about what that means for your financial retirement planning?

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The most ignored aspect of retirement planning just might be that women live longer than men.

Among people aged 65, just over half are female. At 75 years of age, 57 per cent are female. At 85 years old, 68 per cent are women. These numbers were provided by Kristina Hidas of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), which has just completed some research showing one way in which the longer lifespans of women matter hugely in retirement planning.

It’s spending on health-related costs not covered by provincial health-care plans.

Because they live longer, women should expect to pay a lot more in their retirement years for long-term care, home care and other costs like dental care and drugs not covered by provincial programs. “Women are the most vulnerable group,” said Ms. Hidas, HOOPP’s senior manager of strategic research. “They live longer, and they mostly live by themselves.”

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