Women: Dreaming of a Great Retirement? Start Now.

Primerica Financial Services
October 20, 2008

In today's economy, it's more important than ever for women to not only think about their financial future, but also to start preparing for it. Retirement may feel like a long way off, but considering that women are 71% more likely than men to live below the poverty line in retirement,1 it's clear the earlier women start to think about the future, the better their potential for a comfortable life becomes.

Primerica, a financial services industry leader, offers a few dos and don'ts to help women consider all their options and find the best path to financial independence.

DO start now. The earlier a woman starts, the easier it will be to achieve her retirement goals. Time is a powerful key to achieving financial security.

DON'T delay and pay the high cost of waiting. For every 10 years women put off saving for retirement, they'll need to save three times as much to catch up. Saving early in life can increase a client's potential for a secure retirement. For example, a monthly investment of $100 at a 10% rate of return, starting at age 25 can turn into nearly $638,000 by the time the client turns 65.*

The cost of waiting even a few years can significantly reduce the available funds at retirement. If the same client waited until she were 30 to start investing the same monthly amount, at the same rate of return, her potential balance at age 65 would be just $383,000. Simply starting earlier could have added $255,000 to her retirement funds.*

*Assumes a hypothetical 10% rate of return. Subject to applicable sales taxes. Rate of return is a nominal interest rate compounded on a monthly basis. Unlike actual investments, this shows a constant rate of return without any fees or taxes, which would lower results.

DO it on your own. Women tend to outlive their husbands – by about 15 years on average. Just one‑third of women 65+ are married.2 Chances are, most women are going to be on their own at some point – and women typically need more retirement income than men do, simply because they tend to live longer.

DON'T rely on Social Security. Because women drop in and out of the workforce to care for children, parents and other family members, they accrue much fewer Social Security benefits. The average Social Security check received by women in December 2006 was just $867; men received $1,148.3 And if she is a Gen‑X or Gen‑Y, she might not even see Social Security benefits by the time she retires.

DO build a big nest egg. Demographers predict many of today's women will live in to their 90s or even later.3 It's a good idea for women to plan ahead and make sure retirement savings can last.

Start saving today. While the economy makes it tough to start saving, there are probably small things women can spend less on, or minor conveniences they can give up to put a few extra dollars away each month.

Primerica has helped thousands of women learn to make small changes that can pay off in a big way down the road. Visit Women In Primerica for more information.

  1. MSNMoney.com, viewed March 9, 2008
  2. U.S. Department of Labor web site, February 10, 2006
  3. Women's Institute for Financial Education web site, viewed March 9, 2008