Retirement Plan Challenges for Women

Most of us have been hit hard by the Great Recession in some way, seeing high unemployment, limited job opportunities, declining home values and the loss of billions of dollars in our retirement plans. Overall, though, women have it much worse than men. Retirement plan challenges for women loom large.

Retirement Plan Challenges for Women

There are several reasons for this disparity:

  • Income Gap – Many women are still underpaid compared to their male counterparts.
  • Unemployment – While men were hit harder by rising unemployment, they are recovering more quickly as well, with may jobs that are traditionally “woman-oriented” – like teachers, nurses, etc. – still suffering higher unemployment than other sectors of the economy.
  • Retirement Savings Plans – More women than men are single parents and struggle to make ends meet, leaving little or nothing for retirement savings.
  • Health Insurance – Statistically, women live longer than men, requiring more money to pay for insurance over their lifespans.

It can be a very difficult situation and women are right to be concerned.

“Many older women are frightened,” says Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “They just never thought that they could be in their 50s or early 60s and not have a job. They have seen their savings, their home value and their retirement all decline because they’ve had to use it to live. And they don’t know how to rebuild it.”

Retirement Plan Challenges for Women, in many cases, are much greater than they are for men, although all of us are faced with daunting obstacles.

Click here to read Retirement gender gap: Older women face a host of financial challenges, written by Christine Dugas for USA Today

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