5 Reasons Why Women Need to Invest

5 Reasons Why Women Need to Invest

March 13, 2024

As we reach the midpoint of Women's History Month, I wanted to share some valuable statistics regarding women and investing.

Please let me know if this information is helpful to you or if you have questions.

I'm happy to help!

Despite progress toward financial planning and saving, women often face challenges regarding their financial security. These challenges can include more time away from the workforce (often caring for children or for parents), the gender pay gap, and other factors that impact their investing and saving for retirement. Recognizing these barriers to saving and investing and making informed decisions are vital!

Here are a few of the unique challenges women face when saving for retirement:

Women live longer: The average life expectancy for women is age 80, and and many women will spend, on average, 15 years in retirement. 

Women are more likely to live in poverty: Women age 65 or older have a much higher likelihood than men to live on an income below the poverty level, and women over age 80 had the highest poverty rate among all senior age groups. 

Women are more likely to work part-time: 30% of female workers are part-time workers with no retirement savings benefits.

Women earn less than men: In 2022, women earned 82% of what men earned of both full- and part-time workers. Watch my website blog for updated earnings information coming soon.

Women care for others: 40% of caregivers are women, and mothers are more likely to reduce their work hours or step away from employment to care for their children. Often, they provide care to other adult family members.

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Even though women face more significant risks and challenges in saving for retirement, there are essential components to retirement readiness that can help you put a more solid foundation in place as you prepare for retirement:

#1:  Prepare for emergencies and have a backup plan: Circumstances like divorce, death, or injury can prevent retiring as planned. Setting up an emergency savings account with three to six months of expenses, life insurance, disability insurance, a budget, and a plan to reduce your debt can help ensure you have enough left to fund your retirement savings in an emergency.

#2:  Participate in your employer's retirement savings plan: If you work for an employer that offers a retirement savings plan, participate in it. Even if working part-time, you may be able to participate. If you can, contribute at least enough to ensure you receive the employer’s matching contributions. Set up automatic contribution increases of 1% of more.

#3:  Set up and contribute to a self-directed retirement savings vehicles: The more you save at an earlier age into a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA, the better prepared you’ll be for retirement. While some rules apply, based on your income and whether a spouse contributes to a retirement savings plan, I can help determine which is appropriate for your situation.

#4:  Create a 'single-view' financial plan: Work with a financial professional to create a single-view financial plan that reflects only YOUR retirement savings contributions, and only YOUR source(s) of income. While you may have a secure relationship, having a single view plan will help prepare you for the future, regardless of what happens.

Consider the possibility of delaying your retirement: A 2023 report indicates that eight in ten women are taking steps to ensure continued work:

  • 59% are staying healthy so they can work longer
  • 50% are keeping their job skills up to date
  • 23% are networking and meeting new people
  • 22% are taking classes to learn new skills
  • 18% are scoping out the employment market and opportunities available
  • 16% are obtaining a new degree, certification, or professional designation
  • 14% are attending virtual conferences

If you're a woman concerned about saving for retirement or have questions about your unique situation, please give me a call at (804) 665-1589, or e-mail me at kmurphy@capfs.com. I appreciate the unique challenges you face, and am committed to helping women just like you plan for a comfortable retirement. 

Courtesy of Fresh Finance.