Women face challenges in retirement, because of their longer life span and economic factors, according to Next Avenue in “What Could Help Women Facing financial Challenges for Retirement.”
At a recent Senate hearing, Linda Stone, a WISER member (Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement) presented some facts on the issues that women face, including there are 5.7 million more women than men at age 65, and of those who are over 85, 67% are female. One out of two women alive right now will live until age 90. However, many people over age 85, and especially women, end up living in poverty or in near poverty, even if they were never poor throughout their lives.
The longer lifespan of most women comes with a resulting need for more income. Women traditionally have nine years with zero earnings, usually because they are rearing children or caring for elderly parents. Women’s careers also average 29 years compared to 39 years for men.
The gender mortality difference and the tendency for women to marry older men, leads to them outliving their partners and be more likely to live alone. This increases their chances of descending into poverty. Couples’ finances are also often exhausted by caring for the husband’s medical needs.
How can women be helped to achieve financial security in retirement?
- Study ways to offer retirement protection to women, who spend significant time as caregivers, including considering providing Social Security credits for those years.
- Encourage employers to offer retirement plans.
- Allow part-time and temporary workers to participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
The takeaway: there is a strong need for women to save more for retirement.
An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Next Avenue (February 12, 2019) “What Could Help Women Facing financial Challenges for Retirement”