Women and Retirement: 5 Quick Facts and Tips
- Women tend to make less during their working years. Women generally tend to earn less than men over the course of their careers – even when you take into consideration educational attainment, choice of major and job tenure.1 These and other issues can make the task of saving enough for retirement more challenging.Tip: Maximize your chances to save. To help ensure you have enough to live comfortably in the future, many experts recommend that you set aside up to 15% of your income each year.2 Of course, you should always consider important factors such as your risk tolerance, time horizon, personal circumstances and complete financial situation. At a minimum, contribute enough to take advantage of any matching contributions available through your workplace retirement plan.
- Women tend to live longer than men.3 Longer life expectancy means that you may have more time to enjoy retirement. But here's a catch: Living longer also means that women face a greater chance of outlasting their retirement savings.Tip: Boost your sources of income. One way to help cover your basic living expenses throughout retirement is to maximize your sources of recurring income. This includes making smart choices about when to take Social Security. Delaying your payments by even a few years can boost the amount of income you'll receive throughout retirement.4
- Mothers are nearly five times more likely to work part-time than fathers.5 As a result, many women are less likely to have access to a retirement plan at work. Don't let that stop you from saving for your future, however.Tip: There are no timeouts when saving. Even if you're not eligible to participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you can still sock away up to $5,500 ($6,500, if you're 50 or older) in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).6 If you do not already have an IRA, consider taking advantage of tax-deferred saving with a Mutual of America IRA, a variable annuity contract. You can also consider a Mutual of America Flexible Premium Annuity (FPA), a variable annuity contract, which allows you to contribute from any source with no limits on your contributions.
- Today, women are more likely than men to have earned a bachelor's degree by age 29.7 Nonetheless, women trail men in financial literacy.8Tip: Take charge. When it comes to learning how to manage and invest your money, having a support system can be a big confidence builder. Participate with your partner in your family finances, from daily budgeting to long-term planning. If you're single, build a support network to help you make important financial decisions, including family, friends and other trusted individuals. Also, take advantage of our personal, one-on-one assistance and education by speaking with your local Mutual of America Regional Office representative.
- Women are the primary or co-breadwinner in 6 out of 10 American homes.9 Yet, women trail men when it comes to feeling confident about their ability to save enough to live comfortably in retirement.10Tip: Put yourself first. With all the competing demands on your money, it's easy to put saving for retirement on the backburner. One way to boost your confidence about the future is to make your financial security a priority. Commit to taking a hard look at your income, expenses, savings and long-term goals. Then develop a written plan that can help you save and spend smarter.
1 Women Can't Win. Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, 2018. https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/genderwagegap/.
2 How Much Should People Save? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 2014. http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/how-much-should-people-save/.
3 Social Security Administration. http://ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html.
4 Social Security Administration. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943-delay.html.
5 U.S. Department of Labor. September 2017. https://blog.dol.gov/2017/09/18/5-facts-about-working-women-and-retirement.
6 Internal Revenue Service. http://irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits.
7 U.S. Department of Labor. March 2017. http://blog.dol.gov/2017/03/01/12-stats-about-working-women.
8 The Standard & Poor's Rating Services Global Financial Literacy Survey, 2015. http://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/3313-Finlit_Report_FINAL-5.11.16.pdf.
9 Social Security Administration. http://ssa.gov/people/materials/pdfs/EN-05-10312.pdf.
10 2017/2018 Global Attitudes Survey, Willis Towers Watson. https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en/insights/2018/03/infographic-workers-look-to-employers-for-security-as-retirement-confidence-drops.
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