Women and Retirement: Seventeen Surprising Facts and How to Approach Them

July 6, 2017

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The number of wealthy women in the United States is rising twice as fast as the number of wealthy men according to CNBC. Many experts estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth. As these indicators all pointing to financial risings for females, it is important that women plan their retirement savings accordingly.

Women face a unique set of challenges when preparing for retirement. In general, they face lower pay rates, more time off work due to maternity leave and caregiving, longer life expectancies and more. These challenges to savings plans can prove especially important as more and more women begin to handle their own financial futures.

Many women also show a degree of doubt when it comes to saving for retirement. One report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released an article entitled Seventeen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook. This report listed seventeen startling facts about women and retirement planning, showcasing the widespread lack of control and confidence that women seem to express about their retirement plan. Approximately one in ten women are “very confident” that they will be able to retire comfortably and more than half are “guessing” at the amount they will need to save in order to feel secure in retirement. The complete list is listed here.

So, what are the steps females can take to begin improving their confidence in retirement planning? Women can start with these eight steps.

Eight Steps for Women to Improve Their Retirement Outlook

Start saving now. Save now and save often. Even the smallest amounts will add up over time.

Check to see if your employer offers a retirement plan. Evaluate your employer’s retirement plan, analyzing the different advantages that are available.

Develop a plan and write it down. It is important to have a concrete vision in retirement planning in order to successfully formulate your long-term savings needs. In order to save accordingly, you must have an estimate of what you will need to contribute on a consistent basis.

Consider the tradeoffs of caregiving. While taking time away from work is great in order to be a parent or caregiver, it is also important to consider the financial tradeoffs. If there is a way to meet in the middle, such as working part time, this should be considered as well.

Keep your repertoire up to date. It is important to remain an asset in the workforce by keeping up to speed with the most recent technology and other professional skills. This can help enable you to work past the average age of retirement if need be.

Keep an open dialogue with family about retirement finances. It is important to discuss with your spouse or other family members your personal wishes for retirement instead of simply letting others take the reigns on retirement planning.

Learn more about retirement investing. Educating yourself on retirement investing can help make savings last longer. It is important to be knowledgeable on when to withdraw from your retirement accounts in order to minimize taxes and penalties and when to start Social Security in order to maximize benefits.

Work with a fee-only advisor. Need a help with all of this? A qualified financial advisor can help you get on track. Keep in mind that not all financial advisors act in your best interests. A fee-only advisor doesn’t sell financial products, so they are able to give you unbiased financial advice.  

As many more women begin to single handedly control their financial futures, it is important to be aware of the unique challenges women face and how to approach them. As high as 27 percent of married women say they already "take control" of financial and retirement planning with numbers continuously rising. To view the full report Seventeen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook...and Eight Steps to Improve It please click here. 

Topics: retirement

Ron Sanders

Written by Ron Sanders

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