Janet Bodner, an Editor-at-Large with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, recently wrote an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune about the difficulties that women face when it comes to achieving a secure retirement. Here are several excerpts:
My daughter Claire recently sent me an e-mail recounting a conversation she overheard while having lunch at a restaurant.
A girl asked her mother how people pay for retirement. “Her mom said, ‘Well, there’s this thing called a pension, but that probably won’t be around when you’re older. And there’s Social Security, but that probably won’t be around, either,’” Claire told me.
“And that was it,” Claire said. “It made me sad because the mom clearly had no idea how one actually pays for retirement, and it was such a lackluster answer to a really good question. It seemed like a good time for her to tell her daughter that you need to save for retirement your entire life.”
Claire is right on two counts: Lackluster answers won’t help girls become financially savvy, nor will they help women achieve a secure retirement.
“Women face all the issues that men face, plus they have additional complicating factors,” says Larry Swedroe, co-author of “Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement.”
The life expectancy for women is longer than it is for men, but women tend to amass less in retirement savings because they often earn less over the course of their careers, are more likely to take time off for family responsibilities and tend to invest more conservatively.