The runway toward retirement begins long the age of 65 but it’s not easy to get there.
With rising costs of living induced by inflation, it’s harder than ever to aggressively save for retirement than in years past. Per a recent AARP report, findings showed that 25% of women between 50–64 have 0 confidence in their retirement future.
This makes sense considering the pervasive gender wage gap whereby women earn 0.89 for every $1 a man makes. What’s more, Black women earn 63 cents on the dollar compared to White men, which explains the hundreds of thousands of dollars in un-recouped earnings during a woman’s professional lifetime.
This is attributed to various factors including job loss induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, child care and workplace gender biases.
Whatever the reason, time away from work spells out lower Social Security benefits, which leads to lower retirement income for women when that time comes. AARP reported that The Social Security Administration reported that in 2019, women received $3,800 (22%) less in benefits than their male counterparts. Women who leave work to become caretakers for care elderly family members stand to lose more than $130,000 over the course of a lifetime.
Another factor that compounds the bleak retirement outlook for women is their average age, which surpasses that of men who, overall, have a shorter life expectancy.
AARP says there’s hope though.
They encourage citizens to engage their government officials to enact laws and policies to enable equitable access to gainful employment, healthcare and social security. The full report can be accessed here.