In recent weeks, I’ve been researching more about women and retirement in America. It was easy to find disheartening statistics everywhere I went:
- Women lack confidence in their retirement planning
- Time off for care-giving negatively impacts retirement
- Women are less likely to be offered retirement benefits
The list goes on.
Keeping up on retirement savings is a big issue for many Baby Boomers today, and women in particular face some unique challenges to overcome. The economic tides have already turned, and pre-retirees need to think outside the box to make up the difference.
Check out our New Economy Reading List for some fresh ideas.
That said, I did come across one study on women and retirement in America that showed how women are evolving their retirement planning strategy to improve their outlook.
Here are a few promising facts I discovered:
Fact: Most women plan to continue working in retirement.
According to the study by TransAmerica, half of women plan to work after they retire, 38% part-time and 11% full-time. Planning to work past age 65 is a realistic first step to bridge the gap in retirement savings. Retiring “on time” is becoming less and less realistic for Boomer women today, especially since it’s possible to live 95+ years.
Fact: Many women plan to self-fund their retirement.
59 percent of women plan to self-fund their retirement. Most (43%) planned to rely on their 401(k)/403(b) accounts or IRAs, while 16% planned to rely on other savings and investments.
Only 27% planned to rely on Social Security benefits. This is another good sign that women have a good grasp of the realities of retirement in America. Social security already isn’t enough to maintain any standard of lifestyle in America, thanks to inflation. It’s also projected to run dry in the next 17 years.
Fact: Most women are saving outside of work.
One of the most heartening statistics I saw is that 55 percent of women are saving for retirement outside of work. This is an important reality for women and retirement in America for two reasons:
- Your salary probably isn’t enough
Baby Boomers only have so many years left to earn before retirement hits. And thanks to the 2008 financial crisis, women (and men) have a lot of work to do growing their nest egg to where it needs to be. Earning extra income outside your job through investments or a side business is a key solution to this problem.
- Job security issues
Corporate job security isn’t what it used to be (According to the World Economic Forum, the average lifespan of a multinational, Fortune 500-size corporation is 40 to 50 years). And it’s possible your job could be replaced by robots or AI, all before you retire. It happens all the time, so you need an alternative plan to support yourself. This is a particularly big problem for women who struggle to regain employment after leaving the job market for some time.
Are you one of them?
Women facing retirement in America have many challenges ahead of them, but are also developing new strategies to cope with these economic changes.
But not all have faced the realities of retirement today. In order to build a safety net and really prepare for the kind of retirement they want to have, women need to:
- Invest heavily in retirement accounts (It’s never too late to start)
- Identify other investment or business opportunities outside of their salaried job
- Plan to downsize before retirement, not after
- Consider relocating somewhere affordable during retirement
- Explore the many ways to earn money online