Most women worry more about being sure their kids have health insurance, their husbands have life insurance and a decent retirement plan, and their families are covered with auto insurance, but few actually look at the insurance needs of themselves.

Women are characterized most often by caring about those around them before focusing on the needs of their own. Unfortunately, this leaves them at a higher risk than any other demographic.

Insurance For WomenIt is crucial for women to ask questions and be involved in large and small financial decisions that affect the family now and into the future. The reality is that women live longer than men. They need to extend their retirement income far longer and have an increased probability of needing long-term care assistance. In 2010, some 40% of women over 65 were widows and nearly half of women 75 or older lived alone with just over $15,000 annual income. With inflation and other economic pressures, women who are relying on Social Security income find themselves struggling to make ends meet in their later years. Many are forced to decide between food or medicine or rent, because they simply can’t afford all three.

To be sure you, or the women in your life are taken care of in their golden years, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

Disability insurance should not be overlooked for female workers. This can provide financial protection if you are unable to work because of an accident or an illness.

Life insurance should be purchased regardless of if the mother works outside the home. Even if the woman does not bring home a paycheck, her loss will require additional funding in the home for housekeeping, child care, possible therapy or counseling costs, college funds, etc. A life insurance policy on any mother will help provide some financial security upon death by providing funds that can be used to care for the children in her absence.

Retirement Benefits are available for women the same as they are for men, but women spend on average 12 years out of the workforce due to care-giving responsibilities which means they have fewer years when they are putting money into their retirement funds. Also, women are more reluctant to negotiate a better salary, and are often underpaid. Be sure you’re getting paid what you deserve to be paid, and never touch your retirement account until you reach retirement age.

Marriage is not an insurance plan. A rich spouse does not give you a guaranteed retirement plan. Statistics show that odds are you don’t know where that spouse and that money might end up someday. Preparing for a sound retirement takes some research, dedication and patience, but it’s important to set yourself up for success so the golden years can truly be golden.