Next Avenue: Women are still falling behind in retirement savings; how to catch up, especially if you’re over 50

by | Mar 6, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from You’re probably familiar with the Census Bureau statistic that women are paid 82 cents compared with every dollar paid to men, but are you aware that a financial gap persists even after men and women exit the workforce for good?

Women’s retirement contributions are, on average, 30% less than those made by men, according to a recent Goldman Sachs
 survey of 1,566 adults. That gender savings gap is compounded by the fact that women live longer than men, which means they must stretch their retirement savings further. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American women, on average, live almost six years longer than American men. More: The gender pay gap barely budged over the past 20 years. What’s going on?More vulnerable to poverty “The longevity gap can create real challenges for women as they age,” said Cassandra Smalley, CEO of Cassandra Smalley Wealth Management in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Women are much more vulnerable to poverty than men as a result of living longer, and they face a multitude of challenges in overcoming various wealth gaps.” It doesn’t take a math genius to calculate that women’s longer life expectancy and lower earning potential adds up to having less disposable income to put toward retirement savings. Unfortunately, many women approaching retirement age are simply unprepared financially for the years ahead. Of 2,500 women surveyed by Bank of America
 for a February 2022 report, only one-third said they were “doing well” when it came to saving and paying for retirement. One in five women approaching retirement age said they didn’t have a financial plan. While saving for retirement presents unique challenges for women due to their gender, identifying those challenges is the first step to overcoming them.More career interruptions Because women are usually the primary caregivers of both their children and older family members, they end up leaving work more often to focus fully on taking care of their families. Unfortunately, this means they have fewer years to contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans. …

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