Unfavorable Retirement Sector: Women


An advisor who volunteered at a food bank saw firsthand what could go wrong.

For several years our family worked as food bank volunteers. The food bank provided baskets of food and other necessities to those in need once a week.

We have many happy memories of that time.

Over the years we have noticed a change happening. Many people (especially women) who used to volunteer have turned into people in need of help and food baskets.

what happened/?

One reason was obvious. Removing half of my income changed the situation.

In most cases, the spouse was deceased.

teacher’s story

One woman in particular was a retired teacher. Her husband was also a retired teacher. Life was fine when they had pensions and social security.

A retired teacher and her husband raised children and helped the church and community.

Things changed when her husband died. She remembers the day she came to her meal. She was in tears and needed a friend.

Of course, everyone helped her, but the humiliation of that event shook her and the rest of us.

How did this happen?

A retired teacher and her husband have been retired for about 18 years.

Initially, their retirement was more than enough, but inflation, tax increases, and health care costs covered by lower health care costs have all taken their toll.

Just like that woman, millions of women are in trouble and living in the shadows.

Think about what your retirement life should be like.

How many of you have seen your golden year dreams go dark?


In general, women earn less before age 65. This means less money to save for retirement and less to contribute to Social Security.

And because women generally live longer than men, they often need to keep their retirement income going longer.

A report from the National Retirement Security Institute provides shocking data on the impact of these differences.

Women over the age of 65 earn, on average, 25% less than men of the same age group, and by age 78, women earn 44% less than men.

A 65-year-old woman is 80% more likely to face poverty than a man.

Women aged 75 to 79 are three times more likely to fall below the poverty line.

Other factors

Here are five other reasons that explain why women in retirement are more likely to struggle.

1. Caregiving responsibilities

Women are more likely to take care of their families, which can lead to career interruptions and reduced income.

As this can affect the amount of retirement savings, it is essential for women to consider caregiving responsibilities when planning for retirement.

2. Financial literacy

Women may feel less confident in their financial savvy and less prepared for retirement than men.

They may not even consider asking someone like you for advice.

3. Health problems

As women tend to live longer, they may face health-related issues in retirement.

4. Quarantine

Women outlive their friends, relatives, and neighbors, and social connection issues can add to caregiving responsibilities and changing living situations.

how we can help

Here are ways that may help women overcome the challenges they face in planning for retirement.

1. Market yourself. Make sure women in your community, including women you know personally, understand what they need to do to prepare for retirement.

2. Encourage women to engage in hobbies and other activities that foster connections with others.

2. Emphasize the value of eating right, exercising, and taking other steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

3. Discuss the basic elements of financial wellness, such as making wills, designating beneficiaries for life insurance and financial accounts, and establishing powers of attorney for medical and financial decision-making.

4. Describe the value of defined benefit pension plans and guaranteed annuities as sources of guaranteed lifetime retirement income.

Bill Broich, co-owner of Annuity.com, also works as a content marketing strategist for financial professionals.




(Photo: Sandra Mattick/Fotolia)

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