Why Women Are More Likely to Retire Poor Than Men (And What They Can Do About It)


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

14 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security ChecksGrow

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances — and Be HappierGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

7 Free Sources of Manufacturer Coupons You Can Find OnlineSave

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Fixing Your Credit? Do These 5 Things, Avoid These 3Credit & Debt

Women face special challenges when it comes to saving for retirement. Take these steps to make sure your funds don't fall short of your goals.

When it comes to retirement planning, many women have a distinct disadvantage compared with men.

The U.S. Department of Labor says we’re more likely to work part-time jobs that don’t qualify for benefits like a 401(k). Of the 62 million working women in the country, only 45 percent participate in a retirement plan, the department says.

We’re also more likely to quit jobs to raise children or take care of a family member. We’ll probably work fewer years than our male counterparts, meaning we’ll likely get fewer raises and earn lower pay. That means less money to put away for retirement.

Add to that the fact that women on average live longer than men, and you’re looking at a retirement shortfall. In a recent survey, half the women said they were worried about running out of money in their later years, says U.S. News & World Report.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has suggestions about how women can boost their retirement funds. Check it out, then read on for more advice.

1. Map out your future

Creating a visual road map for your future will make retirement planning easier. To get started, ask yourself some questions:

  • When are you going to retire? At what age do you want to stop working? If you’re married, will you want to retire when your husband does? Will you need to stop work early to care for an aging parent?
  • Do you plan to take time off from work? Many women drop out of the workforce  to raise children. If that’s your plan, remember that you’ll likely end up making less money over the course of your career as a result.
  • What do you want to do in retirement? If you plan to travel, you’ll need more money than someone who intends to stay close to home.
  • How much money will you need? Online calculators can help you out. Check out these calculators from CNNMoney and AARP.

2. Assess your situation

Once you have some firm ideas about your future, let’s see how prepared you are so far.

  • Are you saving? If you’re not regularly setting aside money in a 401(k) or IRA, start now.
  • How much savings do you have? And how does that compare with the amount you’ll need to support the retirement you want? Will your current rate of saving reach that goal? This calculator from MSN Money will help.
  • How much debt do you have? Ideally, you’ll want to be debt-free when you retire.

3. Close the gap

You have to figure out how to come up with the extra money if your current savings plan is inadequate.

  • Track your spending. Are there expenses you can cut so that you can divert those funds to your retirement accounts? Do you really need cable TV? Do you need to live in such a large house?
  • Retire the debts. Try a debt snowball if you have a lot of debt on credit cards. Can you do a balance transfer to a card with an introductory 0 percent interest rate? Stacy has  advice about whether to pay off debt or save for retirement first.

4. Maximize Social Security

There are ways to maximize what you’ll receive from Social Security. One way is to put off collecting Social Security until you’re age 70, which will increase the amount of  your monthly benefit. Many people opt to take Social Security early, at age 62, which reduces the monthly payment they’d otherwise receive if they had waited until at least their full retirement age.

5. Participate in work-related retirement plans

If your employer offers a 401(k), contribute the maximum amount possible if you can. The contribution limit for 401(k)’s is much higher than for an IRA — $17,500 for a 401(k) and another $5,500 if you’re 50 or older vs. $5,500 plus another $1,000 for older workers for an IRA. If you’re self-employed, consider a solo 401(k).

6. Factor in your spouse

For instance:

  • If your husband has a traditional pension, make sure it will continue to make payments to you if he dies before you do.
  • If your husband has a 401(k) or similar plan at work, the money will automatically go to you upon his death unless another beneficiary has been designated.
  • If you’re not working, make sure your spouse is contributing to an IRA on your behalf.
  • Remember that if you’re divorced, you may be entitled to a percentage of what your former spouse collects from Social Security. (His payment won’t be reduced as a result.)

Finally, take care of your health. Since you’re expected to live longer, you’ll have a longer time to pay expensive health care costs if you develop chronic conditions like diabetes.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 5 Easy Ways to Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,990 more deals!