Women face unique challenges regarding retirement savings

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Women can face special challenges when saving for retirement. Generally speaking, women tend to spend less time in the workforce, and when they do work, they typically earn less than men in comparable jobs. As a result, women’s retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits are often lower than their male counterparts. In addition, women generally live longer than men, so they typically have to stretch their retirement savings and benefits over a longer period of time.

Start saving early…or right now
What can a woman do to maximize her chances of achieving a financially secure retirement? Start saving as soon as possible. The best time to start saving for retirement is in your 20s, the second best time is right now. At every stage of your life, there will always be other financial needs competing with the need to save for retirement. Don’t make the mistake of assuming it will be easier to save for retirement in 5, 10, or 15 years. It won’t. Start small, with whatever amount you can afford, and contribute regularly, adding to your contribution when you can. 

Take advantage of employer-based retirement plans
If you’re in the workforce, an employer retirement plan like a 401(k) plan can be a convenient no hassle way to get started building your retirement nest egg. Contributions are deducted automatically from your paycheck and may qualify you for employer matching funds. If you’re out of the workforce and married you can contribute to an IRA (traditional or Roth), provided your spouse earns enough to cover the contributions.

In many cases, your job is your lifeline to being able to save for retirement. Before leaving the workforce for family obligations, consider exploring with your employer the possibility of flexible work arrangements, including telecommuting and part-time work, that might enable you to continue to earn a paycheck as you balance your family obligations.

Important steps to get started
Start planning now by taking the following steps:

  1. Set a retirement goal
  2. Start saving as much as you can on a regular basis — track your progress at least twice per year
  3. Find out how much you can expect to receive from Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov 
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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