Gender Gap Looms Over Retirement

By Chris Fleisher
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When it comes to women and money, paying attention to your retirement plan is a MUST! Especially since there are a numbers of factors to consider that are specific to women. First, there continues to be a gender gap in pay; women statistically live longer than men and will require more money, and lastly many women in business take time off from their careers to raise families which can deeply affect financial savings. Financial education is critical to empowering women to prepare for what is ahead.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Claire Schuchman is in a retirement red zone, when she ideally would be just six years away from a post-working life.

So, last year, she asked her financial adviser, “What’s the plan?”

“She said, ‘The plan is for you to start making more money,’ ” said Schuchman, 59, of Mt. Lebanon.

Schuchman had nowhere near enough money saved up to maintain the life she enjoys without the income from her landscaping business. And she is not alone.

The income gap between men and women during their working lives can become even more stark during their retirement years. Higher health care costs, longer life expectancy and comparatively lower earnings during their working lives make it much less likely that a woman will have enough money to retire at age 65 than a man.

The financial firm Financial Finesse calculated that the average 45-year-old woman would need to save 26 percent more — or $56,148 — than her male counterpart in order to retire in 20 years.

The findings highlight the urgency women must put into saving early and often as they build their careers, financial advisers say.

“A lot of women are forced to work longer, work part-time into retirement,” said Alison Fox Wertz, senior vice president and a financial consultant at Bill Few Associates, a wealth management firm in Mt. Lebanon. “It’s simple if the day you start working, putting a certain amount of your retirement away, then you’re not making any heroic measures.”

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