Women and retirement series: Working with less

Part three of a four-part series

Women’s retirement challenge #3

Women's lifetime earnings are often lower than men's. When you factor in the income disparity women still face (women earned about 81.1% of the median weekly earnings of men in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the higher likelihood that women will take time away from the workforce to raise kids or care for aging parents, women are more likely to have lower earnings overall and a smaller financial cushion in retirement.

The costs involved in raising a family, sending kids to college, or helping out other family members may tempt women to push saving for retirement to a later age. Those who don't start out early saving for retirement miss out on the time value of compound interest, and it’s more difficult to make up for that loss later on.

What you can do today

Save now, no matter what the amount. Even if you can only put a small amount toward retirement, do it today. It’s never too early or too late to get started. Putting just an extra $20-50 per paycheck still adds up over time.

Further, as you pay off loans, reduce or eliminate expenses, or get a raise, take that amount and redirect it to your retirement savings. You won't miss it because you're already living without that extra money—but you will welcome it later.

In addition, if you're age 50 or older, you may be able to contribute as much as $7,000 to your IRA in 2019. See our IRA FAQ for more information.

It pays to make saving for retirement a priority in your life—especially if you're a woman. If you have any questions about retirement savings programs or insurance, give us a call and talk to a real person. You have several options: 

>>Part 1—Women and retirement series: Facing unique challenges

>>Part 2—Women and retirement series: Caregiving and illness

>>Part 4—Women and retirement series: Taking a risk

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