The National Institute on Retirement Security reports that women are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. I don’t know about you, but that makes me VERY uneasy.
There are several factors involved in this scary financial scenario for aging women. A recent Forbes financial report by Karen Stiles on retirement shed light on this matter:
~ Women tend to earn less than men (even in the same job/industry). In fact, women earned in 2016 about 80% of what men earned. Experts don’t expect that to change until around 2059. (How old will you be then?) Lower lifetime earnings mean less savings. Most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. Women have less financial base to work with due to lower earnings so “they’re likely falling into the bottom rung of the ill-prepared.”
~ Women are the traditional caregivers. Even with the social changes we’ve seen in the last 20 years with stay-at-home dads, for example, it is more likely women who will fill the role of caregiver to children and parents. According to the AARP, the majority of caregivers are women. Research on caregiving shows that women routinely face decisions that negatively impact their careers and finances in order to become the caregiver in their family. Like working less hours; taking earlier retirement; turning down promotions that would increase their financial status but require too much time on the job or work-related travel; choosing to work part-time (even when they can’t afford to). And working part-time means part-time pay. Which means lower lifetime savings. Even your company retirement plan or benefits can be affected.
And different women face different hurdles. Poverty rates for black and Hispanic women age 65 and older are about double over that of white women, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center.
Women face so many challenges in life. We often face them alone. We outlive men (81 years compared to 76 years). Cindy Hounsell, president of the nonprofit Women’s Institute For A Secure Retirement said it best: “The healthcare costs for older women are much higher than for men and they end up living longer. They have to pay for these things for a long time.”
Worried about the future? Not sure if it’s what it ought to be? You’re not alone. Call us. We’re here, helping women, just like you, secure their futures and live debt-free and truly wealthy.