The goal when planning for retirement should be to create the best plan available to avoid as many roadblocks in the future as possible. There are, however, some unique roadblocks to avoid when you're a woman planning for retirement. There’s already a significant retirement gap between millennial men and women. Although pay parity for the typical 25-year-old may be assumed, there’s still a 28% gap in the additional retirement savings required to cover estimated retirement expenses due in large part to women’s longer life expectancy.
Experts estimate that millennial women will need to save about 12.5% of their pay to meet estimated average expenses when they retire. If you add a career break into the mix, the gender gap in financial security becomes that much more significant. Women need to be aware of these numbers so they can take action to minimize the financial impact of important life decisions.
The study indicates that women who take breaks early in their careers will have a potential retirement savings shortfall of nearly $1.3 million dollars. This gap was identified between women who stay in the workforce for their entire careers versus those who take time off for rearing children, taking on charity projects that pay very little, or caring for aging parents.
In addition, it is millennial women who are at the highest risk of falling short because they face longer career spans. Nonetheless, they’re in the best situation to be proactive and plan for any breaks so the breaks don’t end up crippling their finances.
A recent Wells Fargo survey found that 44% of millennial women indicated that they haven’t begun saving for retirement, and many anticipate they’ll have a break in pay at some point in their careers.
Reference: Business Wire (October 18, 2016) “Millennial Women Face Significant Gender Gap in Financial Wellness”