Statistically, some women rely on their partners to manage their family’s finances. Unfortunately, this can cause financial instability if a death or divorce takes place. It’s important for women to prepare for their retirement and grow personal wealth. Here are a few important pieces of retirement advice to consider to help ensure a secure future financially.

Step 1: Find a Financial Advisor You Trust

It’s important to find a certified financial advisor to create a long-term savings plan that will offer you a comfortable lifestyle when it’s time to retire. You should be able to trust the individual and work together in a collaborative process to set specific goals and diversify your portfolio.

Step 2: Make Saving a Priority

Women are known to have more challenges with saving for retirement due to lower wages, which makes it difficult to receive as much with Social Security benefits that are received later in life. Make savings a priority rather than spending your extra income on your children or home. Pay yourself first with each paycheck that you receive to ensure that you’ll be capable of living independently in your Golden Years without becoming financially dependent on a family member.

Step 3: Don’t Be Afraid of Risk

Women are more prone to taking less risk with their investments than men, which can make it difficult to grow your nest egg when you’re planning for retirement. Diversify your portfolio by investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, and international investments to reduce your risk. Hire a broker who can offer you their advice on when to invest or sell to ensure that you can grow your wealth at a faster rate. Although it’s important to take risks, you should only risk a certain amount of money that won’t cause you to stress out. You should also avoid risking as much if you’re close to retirement, which can make it difficult to recover if you suffer from loss.

Step 4: Delay Your Retirement

Although many people want to retire as soon as possible, delaying your retirement and staying in the workforce for 10 more years can increase your Social Security benefits. The benefit amount is based on 30 years of income when calculating an average, making it important to work as long as possible to live more comfortably once you’re retired.

Step 5: Create a Budget

It’s important to understand where you currently stand financially by calculating the amount of debt that you’ve accumulated and evaluating your spending habits. Make a budget that is realistic for your lifestyle. Try to cut out certain expenses that aren’t necessary, which will help you save and invest more into your retirement fund. Then, create a second budget that reflects how you would like to live when you retire. Try to anticipate medical and caregiving costs for you or your loved ones. It’s also a good idea to reserve an emergency fund – just incase. These funds will allow you to avoid accumulating debt when you’re faced with unexpected costs, such as a home repair or large medical bill.