Last week, ING released some new research on women and retirement : On average, women have nearly $41,000 less socked away for theirfuture than men. I wasn't completely shocked by the finding, nor will you be, I'msure. The root of the problem is pretty clear: We women are stillpaid less than our male counterparts. We're more likely to besingle parents, and if we're not, we still spend more time out ofthe workforce caring for children, for which we'll be celebratedcome Mother's Day on Sunday. |
All told, we work about 32 years to a man's average 44. And we'remore likely to be in part-time positions, working for employers whodon't offer retirement plans. "Women end up with a lower income, and less time spent in theworkforce, which means they get lower Social Security benefits --26% less in Social Security benefits than men," says DeliadeLisser, director of women's programs at ING U.S. The rub is that women will need more retirement savings than men,not less.
We tend to live longer, meaning we face years of livingalone and caring for ourselves. And because of that, we have highermedical costs in retirement: A recent report from the InsuredRetirement Institute found that a 65-year-old man can expect tospend $350,000 for health care expenses throughout the remainder ofhis life. The average woman will need $417,000. Luckily, we're also used to working hard, because getting to yourretirement goals takes a little hard work and dedication.
I'mgiving you Sunday to put your feet up, bask in the glow of yourfamily and eat breakfast in bed. But come Monday, it's time tobuckle down about retirement. Here are three things you can do toget on track, no matter what your income is: 1. Find the right way to save. If you have a retirement plan at work, and your employer offersmatching contributions, that's the place to start.
Begin bycontributing as much as it takes to get the maximum amount of thatfree money, then slowly work your way up from there. The best trickis to increase your contribution each time you get a raise, and askyour HR department to deposit bonuses directly into your 401(k).
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