Which Women Face the Greatest Financial Risk in Retirement?

Forbes.com discussed the surprising results of research from The Center for Retirement Research as reported by Prudential Financial:

Women in their 50s who are at the most financial risk in retirement are those who are married and in two-income households.

The research still found risk for women who were married in households with one income and those who had never been married but those who were married with two incomes had a higher percentage of risk. 

The assumption is that a woman is better off if her household is earning more but that is not necessarily so. People in two-income households make more but also spend more and tend to save less. And it is these women who may find it more difficult to maintain their standard of living in retirement, especially since the research found that in 50% of these households, only one partner is using an employer retirement plan.

Life has unexpected twists and turns, however, women in their 50s and beyond need not find themselves on shaky ground financially. Forbes offered the following retirement planning tip for women:

  • Plan as if you are the only one earning income. Rather than depending on a spouse’s retirement savings, both partners should save.
  • Discuss money with your spouse. Whether you both save for retirement or just one of you does, you need discuss finances on a regular basis.
  • Prioritize savings. Don’t let current expenses and debt keep you from saving because you are not likely to have a time when there are no expenses. You can increase your contribution to a retirement plan at work by one percent to start.
  • Work as long as you can. We all dream of retirement but delaying it as long as possible may be better for your financial outlook.  And if you do retire, you can still do consulting work or work part-time.
  • Get expert help. You can work with a Fee-Only financial planner who can help you see the bigger picture and strategize.

©Bring Clarity to Your Finances. Which Women Face the Greatest Financial Risk in Retirement? is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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