Women: Get Smart about Retirement

PR-Canada.net, July 20, 2008

When it comes to preparing for – or even thinking about – retirement, many women are already behind, compared to their male counterparts. In fact, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 53% of women are currently saving for retirement, compared to 62% of men.

If you've not stopped to consider what your life could be like in retirement, consider these facts:

  1. Women live longer. The average life expectancy for baby girls in the U.S. is now 80 years old, compared to 75 for boys.1 Some estimates show more than one third of American women will live to at least age 90, meaning today's women will spend more time in retirement and need more resources.2
  2. Women earn less. It's a sad reality that women still earn 76¢ for every dollar a man makes.3 The average Social Security check for men and women reflects the disparity in income and working years: Women received $867 in December 2006, while men received $1,148.4 30% of unmarried women 65 or older currently live on Social Security alone.5
  3. Women take time off to care for others. Not only are women more likely to take time off to have and raise children, they are also more likely to interrupt their working years to care for ailing parents or other relatives. Seven out of 10 unpaid caregivers are women, and more than 50% of caregivers modify their work status because of it.6 This includes working fewer hours or taking unpaid leaves of absence – all of which affect their career paths, contributions to retirement accounts and accumulated Social Security benefits.
  4. Women aren't saving enough – if at all. Even though women will spend more years in retirement than men, women still lag behind in their retirement savings. According to new studies from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 37% of women are currently participating in a company 401(k) or other workplace plan, compared to 41% of men; and just 37% of women are likely to hold an IRA or other non workplace retirement account, compared to 46% of men.7
  5. Women are more likely to retire in poverty. For all of the reasons listed above, is it really a surprise that women are 71% more likely than men to live below the poverty line in retirement?8

So, what can you do right now to change how you spend your retirement years? Get into the habit of saving/investing. Even a little bit each month can add up in the long term. Another great idea is to earn some extra money each month to pay down debt so you can save even more.

Let Primerica Financial Services show you how you can change your life and get ready for a comfortable retirement. Visit Women In Primerica to get started.

  1. MSNMoney.com, March 9, 2008
  2. AARP Bulletin, October 2007
  3. AARP, May & June 2007
  4. MSNMoneym, March 9, 2008
  5. AARP Bulletin, October 2007
  6. MSNMoney.com, March 9, 2008
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid