Preparing for retirement can look slightly different for women than it does for men. Although stereotypes are changing, women are still more likely to serve as caretakers to both children and family members than men are. In turn, women accumulate less income and benefits due to their time absent from the workforce. Research shows that 39% of women took a significant amount of time off work to care for loved ones – compared to 24% of men. Women who are working also tend to put less money aside for retirement, saving just 7% of their paychecks on average, while men save closer to 10%.
These numbers may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to be a statistic. With a little forethought, you can start taking steps now, which may help you in the long run. Here are three steps to consider that could put you ahead of the pack.
- Talk about money. Nowadays, discussing money is less taboo than it’s been in the past. It is critical to take control of your financial future. Consider writing down your retirement goals and keep them readily accessible. If you have a partner, ensure you are both on the same page regarding your retirement goals. The more comfortably you can talk about your future, the more confident you may be to make important decisions when they arise.
- Be proactive about your retirement. Do you have clear, defined goals for what you want your retirement to look like? Do you know where your retirement accounts stand today? Being proactive with your retirement accounts allows you to create a goal-oriented roadmap. It may also help you adapt when necessary and continue your journey, regardless of life events.
- Make room for your future in your budget. Adjust your budget to allow for retirement savings, just as you should for a new home or your dream vacation. Similar to any of your other financial goals, you should review your retirement goals regularly to make sure you’re on track.
Retirement may look slightly different for women, but with the right strategies – and support – you’ll be able to live the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.
Money Talks News