Special retirement considerations for women

retirement last a lifetime

>>Continued from "Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?"

While both sexes are living longer than ever before, a longer life expectancy can impact women even more in retirement due to a number of issues:

  • Women tend to live longer than men and are more likely to suffer from chronic illness, so they are often on their own later in life and spend more on health care.
  • Women are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older.1
  • In 2015, female full-time workers made only 80 cents to every dollar earned by men—a 20 percent gender wage gap.2
  • Because women often take time off to have children and/or care for aging parents, they receive fewer salary increases compared with men.

What should women do to maximize their retirement savings?

Start saving sooner. See "Are you Jack or Jill? Learn the value of saving for retirement sooner than later" to understand the power that compound interest can have on your savings over time.

Contribute more. On average, men work 38 years and women 29 years, so women should save a higher percentage of their salary.

Educate yourself. Stay engaged—know what accounts you have, what your monthly expenses are, and how much you’re saving. Take advantage of workplace education and free financial seminars offered by Member Benefits. Or schedule a free financial consultation by calling 1-800-279-4030.

1National Institute on Retirement Security, March 2016.

2Institute for Women’s Policy Research, iwpr.org.

Want to learn more? Read our Women and Retirement Series. 

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