Women And Retirement

by Pam on December 29, 2010

There is a lot of dialogue these days about women and retirement.  The word out there now is that women need to save a lot more than men for some key reasons.  As a rule, women generally live longer than men, so for that reason women really should be tucking extra away in their RRSPs and other retirement savings accounts.

Another key reason is that women often earn less than men, partly because they take time off to have children, but also because there is still a disparity between men’s and women’s wages.  Men are generally still paid more than women for the same work.  This makes it harder for women to save as much as men for their retirement.

Women also generally marry men who are older than them, leaving them on their own for what can be a long time.  If women don’t adequately save for their retirement, they could face some financial difficulties, especially after their spouse passes away.

It is true that women face extra financial challenges and that they really do need to take these into account when determining how much they should be saving for retirement.  Men, too, need to prepare, however, as they can just as easily find themselves living for many years longer than they ever anticipated.  We have friends, for instance, that never expected to live past 80 and they are now closer to 90 and still live fairly independently.  Finances can get tighter and tighter in these kinds of circumstances.

No one knows for sure how long his or her retirement is going to be.  There are no guarantees, but one thing is certain – as long as you are here you will have expenses that need to be covered.  When you are young and healthy and can work hard, this is the time to be preparing for the future, regardless of whether you are a man or woman.

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