Everyone faces challenges in achieving their long term financial goals, such as a successful retirement. But women seem to have a few unique obstacles to overcome. Fortunately, through financial planning and implementing a strategy, women can alleviate the obstacles that exist:
- Longer life expectancy: women on average live seven years longer than men which means they need to plan for a longer, rather than shorter, retirement.
- Lower earnings: women on average earn less than men in the workplace. According to Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), men are out-earning women at an average of 22 to 23 cents on the dollar. Lower earnings result in less money contributed to retirement plans and social security.
More time out of the workforce: women typically are the caregivers. They may spend time out of the work force to raise a family or care for ailing parents or other relatives. This time away can potentially negatively impact the raises and promotion. In addition, while they are out of the workforce, women are not contributing to their pension, other retirement plans or social security which means they end up with less in savings than men.
Creating a retirement plan will help women to feel more in control of their finances and give them confidence about achieving their long-term financial goals. There are a couple of steps women can take:
- Educate yourself by reading and attending workshops;
- Review your credit usage and reduce any unnecessary debt;
- Take an active role in your investments including your retirement plans;
- Invest for long-term growth;
- Maximize your contributions to your retirement plan;
- Consider working with a financial planner.
Remember you are in control of your financial future. Careful planning and putting a long term strategy in place can go a long way towards overcoming the obstacles, achieving your long term retirement goals and living the retirement lifestyle you desire.
This article was originally published by NerdWallet on September 16, 2013 | posted in Advisor Voices