Many Women Face Special Challenges as Retirement Nears

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Women often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to providing for their retirement years. Data shows women tend to live longer than men do, to earn and save less, to bear the financial brunt of divorce and widowhood, and to spend more time and money taking care of family members.

Life expectancy is increasing for both men and women. But women outlive men by an average of five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once a U.S. woman reaches age 65 she is likely to live to the age of 85. That makes women far more likely to outlive their assets.

Advocates debate the reasons behind income disparity, but the fact is that women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means women have fewer dollars to put toward retirement savings, and earn less in Social Security benefits.

Historically, women save less money than men. They usually make less, first of all, and thus are more likely to depend on their spouse’s earnings for savings. Women also spend more time and money helping ill family members than do men.

For all of these reasons, losing a spouse, whether through divorce or death, can have a more drastic impact for a woman than a man.

The message is clear: Retirement planning is a vital necessity for women. We recognize the challenges you may face, and we can help you overcome them.

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