NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Women Face Extra Hurdles to Retirement

January 13, 2004

The overall retirement goal for men and women isn't really that different: Save enough so you don't outlive your money. However, retirement planning is crucial for women because of several factor, says the Dallas Morning News' Pam Yip:

  • Women tend to outlive men, so they need to make their retirement dollars last longer.
  • Women tend to get paid less than men, even for the same work; on average, American women who work full time earn 76 percent of what men do, the organization says.
  • Women often interrupt their careers to have children and care for elderly parents; that hurts their ability to build up a pension because years of service and earnings are two major factors that determine pension payments.
  • Unmarried women are the most vulnerable to poverty; for women between 65 and 69, 27 percent of singles are poor, compared with only 7 percent of married women

Despite these difficulties, Yip says there are strategies that can help: Start saving as early as you can. Take advantage of your employer's 401(k), especially if the company provides a match for your contribution. In the end, don't depend on anyone, except yourself, to finance your retirement.

Source: Pam Yip, "Women have crucial steps to take before retirement," Dallas Morning News, January 12, 2004.


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