After doing my scrape of the financial news as I usually do I came across a subject that I have covered before, "Far more women than men are finding themselves in poverty during their retirement years". As I have covered this before I will share some of my previous insights along with some new ones to hopefully shed some light as to why women are at a much higher risk than men to live in poverty during retirement.
Women Earn & Save Less
This is the obvious assumption that most would point to and while it is a big factor it isn't the only. Regardless, you still need to keep in mind that women typically make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. Because of this their Social Security is affected along with the ability to save for retirement.
Women Have Part-Time Jobs
Female workers make up roughly two-thirds of all part-time employees. The majority of these jobs don't even come with some type of employer-sponsored retirement benefits.
This is just another reason as to why they are more likely to fall into poverty while in retirement.
Women Work Less
The average length women work is roughly 12 years less than men do over the whole course of their careers according to AARP. Do you know how Social Security benefits are figured out? They are based on a worker's top 35 years of earnings. Leaving the work force while you are at the top of your game could hinder your Social Security benefits. 12 years is a significant amount of time and plays a roll into why women are more susceptible to poverty while in retirement.
Living Longer Means Higher Costs
Women on average live longer than men. Living longer means that you'll need more money over the long haul. Over time the cost of medical hasn't been going down but up. Which means the longer you live typically the more you will pay to medical costs.
These are just a few of the reasons as to why women are more likely to fall into poverty while in retirement but there happens to be a few more reasons that are far more alarming to me. The following are some of the biggest and most worrisome issues that need to be corrected now to help women get on track with their retirement.
Percent of Pay To Retirement Accounts
The percent of pay they are putting into retirement accounts is less than men. Why are they putting in less? Is there anything that could possibly explain why women are putting in a lower percent of their pay than men? Yes, there is actually something that could point as to why women are doing this. It could be because women compared to men typically understate how much they are going to need for retirement. Add that to the fact that women typically live longer and health costs are rising and you have a recipe for disaster. You must overestimate how much you are going to need because it is much better to come to retirement realizing you have more than you need than not enough.
Not Taking Advantage of Retirement Accounts
Another alarming factor that needs to be corrected is that women are not taking full advantage of contribution matches from their employee as often as men do. It is hard to even find companies that offer retirement plans and match options. If you happen to be available for a company retirement plan take advantage especially if the company offers a match. If you aren't taking full advantage of a match you are missing out on free money. I am not sure why women are not taking full advantage of contribution matches as often as men but it may play back to the previous issue that women tend to underestimate how much they are actually going to need for retirement. If that is the case they more than likely just don't think they need it and will be fine when retirement comes.
It is sad to hear the facts that women are more likely to fall into poverty during retirement than men. In fact, it is sad to hear anyone fall into poverty during retirement. Retirement is supposed to be the time where we can actually enjoy the fruits of our labors. It is supposed to be a time of happiness and relaxation. Now it doesn't need to be perfect but don't we want it to be the best we can make it? Now is the time to start planning for your retirement. Take advantage of time while you still have it. To start the planning process check out
Author: Nick Barker