Because of unequal pay an Elderly woman counting money. unequal pay affects women's retirement in a bad way.

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The wage gap makes it harder for ladies to save enough.

Unequal pay will hurt women for their entire lifetime — not just while they are working.

Women expect their income to last them for 20 years once they retire. However, they believe they will live for 25 years after they stop working, says a study from life insurance company MassMutual. And most people want their retirement savings to last them until they die, not until they run out.

Men have proven to be more prepared for retirement than women. That could be due to the fact that men earn more money than women, and many women leave their financial decisions up to their male partners. If their spouses die before them, ladies aren’t ready to shoulder the financial burden.

Less knowledge means less confidence in money management

Because women are expecting their partners to handle money, they end up struggling with retirement savings. The study says women are less confident about managing money and investments. They’re not sure how to use their Social Security or take higher investment risks in fear of losing money.

“There are many barriers that make it more challenging for women to prepare to retire, a reality that we need to overcome if women are to enjoy a secure retirement,” says MassMutual executive Teresa Hassara. “Many women are less comfortable with financial issues and money in general, so it’s critical for them to have access to more education, professional financial advice, [and] planning tools.” has previously reported what women don’t know may hurt them in retirement. Only 33 percent of women said they were confident in their retirement savings literacy in a study from The American College of Financial Services. Meanwhile, 44 percent of men claimed they were. And when the two groups were quizzed on their retirement savings knowledge, only 18 percent of women passed, while twice as many men did.

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Longer lives lead to savings uncertainty – unequal pay isn’t helping

Ladies are falling short of how many years they will need retirement money. But they’re also underestimating how much money they will need each year. Forty percent of retired women think they need less than half their pre-retirement income to live well, MassMutual’s study reports. That’s compared to 28 percent of retired men.

It’s a false hope. Most poor, older Americans say they can’t afford basic necessities. But they’re not poor enough to be eligible for government assistance. Rising insurance costs mean they can’t get appropriate healthcare. Most older Americans find they need much more than they thought to afford to live while retired.

Women are worried about investing — because they don’t understand it

Ladies are struggling to save for retirement because they’re struggling to understand it. As they continue to get financial advice, they still might not have all the resources they need. Here’s how women and men differ about retirement savings concerns…

  • A stock market downturn: 83 percent of women worry, compared to 73 percent of men
  • Investments that will lose them money right before they retire: 86 percent women vs. 77 percent men
  • Making a poor investment that will lose them money: 58 percent women vs. 49 percent of men

The study says women who work with a financial advisor are more likely to invest aggressively than those who don’t have one. Overall, more women believe they need to be conservative with their cash especially when unequal pay is present.

Take control of your financial destiny: Read Effective Money Management For Women.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

News, Retirement

money management

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