According to the World Health Organization, women live longer than men, on average, by 6 to 8 years. Although women have a longer lifespan, they save less for retirement. In fact, according to the 2019 report of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits, women land up to retirement with 70,000 dollars less compared to males.
Does this report mean women are worse at saving money? Well, practically not. Research from Vanguard reports that women partake in retirement plans in the largest portions compared to men. The discrepancy or variation in retirement savings comes down to wages.
Aside from that, women need to bank more years of long-term care, health care, and living expenses, yet they have got less money for all of these things. If you’re looking to shore up your retirement, here are four steps to consider.
Start Saving Early
Undoubtedly, at the start of your employment or job, saving for retirement over insurance, rent, food, and even educational loan could seem perplexing. However, keep in mind that it is one of the most beneficial or valuable things you can do now for the future.
To put it simply, the sooner you save for retirement, the less money you need to save, thanks to compounding. It does most of the work for you. According to local financial planners, it is wise to put aside 15 percent of your total income before any tax deductions for retirement.
If you can’t afford to save 15 percent, then start small and gradually increase. It is always better to have something than nothing. Moreover, be especially aware and sensible to your salary negotiations; this is particularly true in the early years.
Remember, your early wage or earnings is the bedrock and keystone for future incomes. That said, it is necessary to learn and understand the art of negotiation. Make sure to fathom your worth as an employee and do not conclude for the first offer.
Do research your position and industry. Plus, be sure to know what you’re going to do in a salary negotiation.
Some people like to budget, and others do not. Well, you can’t blame them. However, building a budget is the best way to handle and manage your money. Knowing where your finances go every month can aid you in identifying which patches to reduce or trim and how much money you can save for retirement.
You have to be smart and clever about your expenses. Of course, your payment for work is important. However, your spendings and expenses are even more important. There are many mobile applications and websites such as YNAB and mint.com to help you out with budgeting.
Also, a spreadsheet can help. When you identify which areas to cut down on and how much money to put up for retirement, automate your finances. Most companies do this via auto-enrollment features for employees. You can do this yourself, too.
Do you still think 65 years old is the best age for retirement? This whole outlook about retirement is undoubtedly out of date. There is an advantage or benefit to living longer, which is having a vibrant and active life beyond 65.
Besides that, working longer allows you to build up and establish bigger savings and get the most out of your Social Security. Consider expanding or stretching your work life. According to Pew Research, 29 percent of people born between 1946 and 1964 age 65 to 72 are either looking for work or in the workforce, which is a very high percentage compared to older generations.
However, it does not literally imply that you need to work hard the way you once did. You may shift from part-time to full-time, or seasonally. The thing to note here is to continue to work with more flexibility and freedom.
Although Social Security represents 40 percent of the retirement income of the average person, for women, it enacts a much bigger role. Since it is such a crucial source of retirement income, it is essential to make the best use of this benefit.
At age 62, you are qualified to get Social Security. However, you will get penalized for every month you receive before you reach your retirement age. If you wait until age 70, you will get a bonus of at least 8 percent.
Retirement is a heavy or considerable load for most people. But for women, it is caregiving responsibilities, greater longevity, compounded by lower earnings, and breaks from the workforce. Although you might not be able to resolve these issues by yourself, there are many things you can do to jack up your retirement security. Some of these steps are outlined in this article.