Your Challenges Are Your Opportunities

Women face several special challenges when it comes to accumulating enough money for a secure retirement. Understanding these challenges can help you develop a financial plan that's tailored to your individual goals.

Common challenges include:

  • Longer Lifespan - Women tend to live longer. For a 65-year-old couple, there is a 50% chance that a man will live to age 85, while his wife will live to age 88. Studies also show there's a 50% chance that at least one spouse will live to at least age 92.¹ A longer lifespan means that women need to save more for a longer retirement and to consider the impact of longer-term health care costs.
  • Financial Self-Reliance - There is a 90% likelihood that a woman will be financially self-reliant at some point in her life due to divorce, becoming a widow, choosing to marry later in life, or never having married.² This makes it important for women to be able to confidently manage their own financial affairs throughout their life.
  • Lower Earnings - Full-time working women earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.³ Lower earnings affect the amount available to save and invest, the size of any potential company pension, and the amount of a monthly Social Security check.
  • Less Time in the Workforce - Women spend an average of 15% of their career out of the workforce to care for children and aging parents.4 This can translate to lower total career earnings and decreased contributions to corporate retirement plans.

Action Steps

Given these challenges, it's imperative to take action now in order to have a financially secure retirement-one that you can live completely on your own terms. Your financial professional can help develop a plan that's specific to your individual needs and adjust it over time as your goals change. We also offer a number of tools to help you turn these challenges into opportunities. To learn more, call 800-MAINSTAY (624-6782).

  1. Annuity 2000 Mortality Table.
  2. Wise Women Money Quiz: How Money Wise Are You, Cynthia Fick, 2011.
  3. Families Can’t Afford the Gender Wage Gap, Center for American Progress, April 20, 2010.
  4. Tomorrow’s Money, National Association of State Treasurers Foundation, 2011.