Gender retirement gap isn’t closing fast enough for women

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Delta Jones Walker

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average full-time working woman earns 82 percent of what the average full-time working man earns. The gap is even greater when it comes to women of color. Although the overall gender pay gap is shrinking, it continues to be too little too late for women who started working in the 1970s and 80s and are now concluding their careers. The significant disparity in pay over the years makes it even more difficult for women to meet their long-term financial goals, specifically retirement.

Often, women are so busy focusing on the day-to-day routine of working and taking care of their families that not enough attention is given to the bigger financial picture. How will we sustain ourselves once we are no longer working a full-time job with benefits? The plot thickens when considering that women are living longer than men (an average of five years longer). Women are often penalized financially when taking time off to raise children, and goods/services for women come with a higher price tag i.e. the “pink tax.” I could go on…

The challenge is clear! What must we do to close the gender retirement gap? How can we take financially responsible steps that lead to a comfortable lifestyle that’s fully funded once we leave the workforce? Ladies, it’s time to get busy!!!

  1. See a financial advisor.

Statistics show that women are less likely to sit down with a financial advisor, leaving their spouse or significant other to handle the finances. This is a habit that needs to be broken! Whether married or single, sit with a financial advisor and get the full picture on your current financial status. Establish a plan to improve and grow financially over time. This plan can include everything from debt elimination to building savings at a greater and faster rate.

  1. Get in the investment game.

While it is good news that more women are investing in the stock market, the problem is that we are not investing enough. Saving our money in cash only does not help it grow. Take time to learn more about investing and take some risks to increase your bottom line. Oh, and you don’t have to do it alone. Why not start an investor’s club with a group of like-minded family members or friends?

  1. Create additional streams of revenue.

The New Year is almost here. What a great time to turn that hobby or hidden talent into a source of income. Write out a list of your skills – tax preparation, arts and crafts, photography, baking, resume writing – anything you know you’re good at. Identify those skills that you can realistically turn into a profit, then go for it!

Your financial outlook will not change overnight, but it is critical that you get started now. The sooner you take charge of your financial destiny, the better your outlook for retirement will be!

Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email djwalker@atledfinancial.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome! *Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.  Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.

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