Saavy Women Master Financial Security
April 22, 2013 | By Steven DiGregorio
Women now comprise nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and they now earn a higher percentage of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees compared to men. So how come women’s average retirement plan balances are just 60 percent of men’s average balances? No, it’s not because there was just a great shoe sale!
Several factors may play into women having lower average retirement plan balances:
- Lower average salaries In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the earnings ratio of women to men was 81 percent. Lower wages may translate to lower contribution and match rates.
- Tendency to select more conservative investments Generally speaking, conservative investments may result in lower long-term returns.
- Employment breaks Not only do women take time off for maternity leave, they may take additional time away for child rearing, as well as the care of elderly parents. Most who take time off for care-giving duties do not continue to contribute to any kind of retirement plan.
Combine the above factors with the fact that women usually live longer than men and, as a result, need an even bigger nest egg, and it’s not surprising that only 24 percent of women are very confident they will have enough money to take care of basic expenses in retirement.
There are several steps women may take to help themselves live comfortably through retirement:
- Get an idea of how much you may need in retirement If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. Only 40 percent of women (and 45 percent of men) have ever tried to calculate how much they will need to have saved by the time they retire.
- Pay yourself first Stash cash into your retirement plan — even before saving for your children’s college education (Loans may be available for college, but not retirement). You may feel that’s selfish, but one of the best gifts you can give your children is to secure your own retirement to avoid being a financial burden upon them in the future.
- Learn about saving and investing Usually the more you know, the less scary it is. A good place to start is right here. Go to the Blogs tab on our website at CompassAMG.com for information on many financial topics, from budgeting and investing to estate planning
- Explore when to claim Social Security Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Although Social Security was never intended to cover all your retirement needs, it may be an important aspect of your retirement. If you are married, there are several scenarios to explore to coordinate you and your spouse’s benefits. For most people, delaying claiming Social Security beyond your full retirement age equals approximately 8% more per year in benefits. (This increased benefit for delaying stops at age 70.) On the Social Security Web site is a Retirement Estimator, which will help you get immediate and personalized retirement benefit estimates. Sign up for My Social Security and view your personal information.
YOU GO, GIRL
Empower your future! Explore, learn and put to work these ideas to close the retirement gap. Begin now to make your future financially secure. A good strategy and plan will leave a lot more dough around for the magic of martinis & Manolos!! Start today!
This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.
Written by Steven M. DiGregorio, President, Compass Asset Management Group, LLC. Compass Asset Management Group, LLC is an affiliate of Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
Spire Wealth Management, LLC is a Federally Registered Investment Advisory Firm.
Securities offered through an affiliate Spire Securities, LLC.
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STEVEN M DIGREGORIO is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
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