Obstacles for Women in Retirement Planning

Obstacles to Retirement Planning Specific to Women

Are you aware of these financial hurdles?

Income Gap

The wage gap between men and women has been stagnant for the past decade," says Joan Entmacher, vice president for Family Economic Security, National Women's Law Center. "We're not making much progress."


Although men were hardest hit by job losses during the recession, since the start of the economic recovery in June 2009, men have recovered faster than women.

From June 2009 to July 2012, women regained only 26.7% of the jobs they lost during the recession, while men regained 40.6% of the jobs they lost, according to the National Women's Law Center.

Retirement Savings Plans

Women tend to work in industries that offer pension plans, but they are not necessarily eligible because they do not work enough hours, or work part time, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released in July.

Women earn less, and those who are single moms often say they can't afford to put money toward their retirement. Those who do participate in a 401(k) plan contribute about 30% less than men do, the GAO says.

Health Insurance

Because women live longer than men, they may end up living alone and eventually need expensive long-term care services.

Nearly one in five women ages 18 to 64 were uninsured in 2010, according to NWLC September data. And that totaled 19 million women.

The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is about $12,100 per year, compared with about $16,000 for men 65 and older, according to the NWLC's report in April.

More women than men are single parents

More women than men are single parents, and the financial responsibility makes it hard to save. And they are more likely to take time off of work for family care-giving. When they are older, they may be on their own because often they are divorced, widowed or single.

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