If you’ve read my book, Let’s Talk Money, then you understand that women face unique challenges when it comes to retirement planning. If you haven’t read my book, keep reading this blog post because I’m going to discuss some of these challenges below.
Challenge 1: Women earn less
It’s no secret that women earn less than their male counterparts. In 2015 a study done by the American Association of University Women showed that, in general, women earned 78 percent of what men earned in the exact same positions. With most employers making it a policy to forbid employees from discussing what they earn, it can be very difficult for women to make sure they are on a level financial playing field. One thing that may help is to use websites such as glassdoor.com to find out the average salary of an individual in your location and position and consider bringing this information to your employer’s attention at raise time.
Challenge2: Women generally take more time off to care for others
Women with children or sick loved ones will generally clock fewer years in the workplace than men. According to studies done by Pew Research, 39 percent of women have taken significant time off of work to care for a child, whereas only 24 percent of men have done the same. Much of this time is unpaid, reducing the woman’s paycheck and reducing their future Social Security payments. One way to lessen the amount of time you take off as a caregiver is to share the burden with a spouse or other family members.
Challenge 3: Women are often behind on their financial education
Researchers have found that women are less likely to correctly answer financial literacy questions than men, indicating a lack of financial education that can hurt their ability to maximize the money they save for retirement. Continue reading blogs and books on finance to improve your financial literacy and help make better decisions.
Women may face some unfair hurdles but if they understand these potential problems, they can strive to combat them in order to secure a safe, happy, comfortable retirement.