Don’t Let the Gender Pay Gap Derail Your Retirement

Women hold a tremendous amount of financial power and are an active part of the workforce and economy as a whole. At a time when women are assuming added responsibility for their families and finances, the gender pay gap that is a reality for many has the potential to derail security in retirement.  

Recently, Ellevate Network surveyed thousands of professional women and found that 26% of respondents worry that they are not making enough money today and 30% worry that they are not planning well enough for retirement.

If you have these concerns, here are some steps you can take: 

  1. Do your homework about salary ranges for your given position and your growth prospects for the industry. Then be prepared to negotiate.

  2. Leverage benefits provided by your employer.  Medical, dental, life insurance and disability are just some of the benefits that may be part of your compensation package.  Pay attention to when you become eligible.

  3. Prioritize your own retirement and begin saving as soon as economically feasible. On average women live longer than men and accumulate less in retirement accounts. Don’t forget to increase your contribution every time you receive a raise.

  4. Understand how your lifetime earnings directly impact your Social Security benefit. Benefits are calculated on the highest 35 years of earnings.  If there are fewer than 35 years, then zeros go into the calculation.

Shining some much needed light on the gender wage gap can make a difference for all women. In the meantime, women can adopt good financial habits early in life, set their own goals, and garner the support they need to stick to those habits over the long run. We can help you pull together the details you need to put your plan in place.

Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie was named to the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine, is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and in addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she manages and is a frequent contributor to Center Connections at The Center.

Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Laurie Renchik and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.