When a Woman Hits Menopause
Menopause is a life stage most financial planners don’t address. Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a women’s reproductive years. The average age of menopause is 51 but it can occur anywhere from the late 30’s to the early 60’s. When a woman hits menopause, there are several financial and mental health considerations she should keep in mind. Here are a few things to consider:
Here are some of the ways menopause can affect mental health:
- Mood swings: Hormonal changes during menopause can cause mood swings, which can range from mild irritability to severe depression or anxiety.
- Anxiety and depression: Menopause can trigger anxiety and depression in some women, which may be related to changes in hormones or the stress of coping with physical symptoms.
- Brain fog: Menopause can cause “brain fog,” which is a feeling of mental confusion or forgetfulness. This can be frustrating and impact daily life.
- Insomnia: Menopause can cause insomnia, which can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
- Decreased self-esteem: Menopause can cause physical changes, such as weight gain or loss of muscle tone, which can impact a woman’s self-esteem and lead to feelings of depression or anxiety.
- Sexual function: Menopause can cause changes in sexual function, which can impact a woman’s mental health and relationships.
It’s important for women to be mindful of the impact of menopause on their mental health and to seek support if needed. This may include talking to a healthcare provider, a therapist, or a support group. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management, can also help support mental health during menopause.
Here are the financial steps you should take in Menopause:
- Review and update her retirement plan: As a woman approaches retirement age, she should review and update her retirement plan. She should consider factors such as her expected retirement age, her retirement savings, and her expected Social Security benefits.
- Evaluate her healthcare costs: Menopause can bring about changes in a woman’s healthcare needs. She should evaluate her healthcare costs and consider factors such as her health insurance coverage, potential medical expenses, and long-term care needs.
- Consider her estate planning: A woman should review and update her estate planning documents to ensure they reflect her current wishes. This includes her will, power of attorney, and healthcare proxy.
- Reevaluate her budget: Menopause can also bring about changes in a woman’s income and expenses. She should reevaluate her budget and adjust it accordingly to reflect any changes in her financial situation.
- Focus on her overall financial well-being: During menopause, it’s important for a woman to focus on her overall financial well-being. This includes managing debt, building an emergency fund, and investing for the future.
- Discuss financial concerns with a financial advisor: A financial advisor can help a woman navigate the financial challenges of menopause. They can provide guidance on retirement planning, healthcare costs, and estate planning. Make sure you are working with a Certified Financial Planner or a CFP®.
When a woman hits menopause, she should take steps to protect her financial and mental well-being. You may need help! This may include talking to a healthcare provider, a therapist, or a support group. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management, can also help support mental health during menopause.
Tamsen Fadal says, “I want to teach women how to ask questions in all areas of their lives, especially regarding their health and wellness. If they don’t feel comfortable with the answers, move on to somebody else and keep going after it. This is your time to thrive, not simply survive.” She is a Journalist and Menopause Advocate.
With your finances, you should review and update your retirement plan, evaluate healthcare costs, reevaluate your budget, and focusing on overall financial well-being, so you can position yourself for a secure financial future.
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