Retirement Planning Solutions for Women

January 27, 2019 | By Steven DiGregorio

Saving for retirement isn’t easy in ordinary circumstances. But with wage growth near non-existent and underemployment ridiculously high it becomes challenging for most and even harder for most women.

According to a recent study, only 62 percent of women said they were saving for retirement, just 15 percent said they were saving enough and 22 percent were barely saving at all!

There are numerous reasons why many women fall behind in saving for their post-career lives, ranging from lower pay and taking care of others to taking time off from the workforce.

“Women will save for their kids before they’ll save for themselves,” said Cindy Hounsell, president of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER).

Cost of Being a Caregiver

Is this just a product of different saving and spending habits? Hardly. Women face special hurdles when it comes to saving for the so-called golden years.

For one thing, women are more likely than men to step out of the workforce, or work part-time to care for children or elderly parents.

When they do work, women are often confronted with the gender pay gap. That gap has narrowed since it was first identified, but on average, women still are paid just 78 percent of what men with equal qualifications receive, according to The American Association of University Women.

Divorce Recovery

Statistically, divorce tends to have more negative financial consequences for women than for men. A study conducted by a professor at the University of Connecticut found that after divorce, women who ramped up their careers fared worse in retirement than those who remarried or even those that never divorced initially.

Further, U.S. Census Bureau data shows that women who were divorced reported lower household income than men in the 12 months following the divorce and were more likely to receive public assistance.

Retirement is about Longevity

When women do save for retirement, another challenge they face is that they may invest too cautiously. Some research has found that some women view themselves as less financially knowledgeable than men do, thereby expressing less confidence in their financial decision-making.

A recent study of women’s financial behavior conducted by Prudential, found that the “Women we surveyed feel no more prepared to make wise financial decisions today than they did two years ago or even a decade ago.”

To top it off, since women have a longer life expectancy, whatever they do save has to last longer—only that’s not happening. The poverty rate among women older than 65 reached 11.6 percent in 2013, and elderly women accounted for two-thirds of the elderly poor.

Get Ahead of the Savings Curve

Fortunately, there are steps women can take steps to boost their nest eggs.

First, in terms of tax-deferred savings, it’s a great idea to take advantage any opportunity available:

  • Contribute at least enough to your 401(k) or 403(b) to receive the maximum employer match.
  • Contribute to a Roth IRA. The advantage of tax-free growth leaves more money to live on in retirement.
  • Take advantage of the “Saver’s Credit”, which enables those below certain income thresholds ($61,000 for married couples filing jointly, $30,500 for single filers in 2015) to offset some of their retirement plan contributions.

Educate, Educate, Educate

Next, women can boost their financial knowledge and build their confidence in making financial decisions.

  • Look for nonprofit organizations such as American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) or WISER that provide workshops or seminars on financial planning strategies.
  • Consider taking classes on money & finance at your local community colleges and universities. There is comfort and empowerment for women learning about retirement planning together. The views, perspectives and ideas shared vary greatly from many of their male counterparts.
  • Get a good read that covers knowledge of investing basics, not the do-it-yourself versions. Knowledge is power!

Consult a Qualified Professional

Equally as important as all the other techniques, seek out a financial professional, planner or registered investment advisor that:

  • You feel comfortable with and understands your circumstances
  • Is willing to coach/educate you during the planning/investing process
  • Has logged years of experience in working with people like yourself
  • Whose fees are transparent and recommendations are objective
  • Adds value by listening and introducing fresh new ideas

Take back control of your financial health! Every journey begins with the first step!

The information contained herein does not constitute tax or legal advice.  Any decisions or actions should not be made without first consulting a financial professional, CPA or attorney.

For more information contact us at 845.563.0537 or Contact@CompassAMG.com

The author of this blog, Steven M DiGregorio is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.

Spire Wealth Management, LLC is a Federally Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Securities offered through an affiliate, Spire Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

 

Tags: 401(k), Divorce, education, finances, financial literacy, financial planning, IRA, money, pension, retirement, Retirement Planning, ROTH, WISER, women

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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