better retirement help for women

The challenges women face when it comes to retirement are well-documented: They earn less than men, spend more years out of the workforce providing family care, and they live longer.

As a result, experts note, women often need help to invest well and overcome these long-term challenges.

It thus behooves employers to offer a better quality 401(k), a plan that helps women get the guidance they need to meet those challenges with confidence.

AARP, Ad Council Team Up to Boost Women’s Retirement Savings

By John Waggoner

Women are 80 percent more likely to live in poverty in retirement than men. To combat this savings shortfall, AARP and the Ad Council have launched the “We Say Save It” campaign to help women save more for retirement.

The campaign name has another meaning. It encourages women to say “Save it” to those who offer old-fashioned (and incorrect) information, such as “Women aren’t good with money.” “That false narrative does not line up with the strength women show every day,” says Mary Liz Burns, communications strategies director at AARP. “Whether it be juggling family and finances during the pandemic or taking on new challenges, women always find a way to rise to the occasion. Now is the time to focus on their financial futures, and we’re here with resources and support along their journey.”

Women and retirement

Poverty hits women in retirement harder than men. For example, the average Social Security benefit is a modest $1,555 a month. Among retirees who draw Social Security benefits, 42 percent of women get more than 50 percent of their income from Social Security, compared with 37 percent of men. Fifteen percent of women rely on Social Security for 90 percent of their income, compared with 12 percent for men.

The pandemic has only made things worse. Women are more likely to say that their financial situation is worse than it was a year ago, and with good reason. More than 1 in 5 women (22 percent) prematurely dipped into their retirement savings or stopped contributing altogether since the COVID-19 pandemic began, jeopardizing their retirement security.

And although 86 percent of women say that achieving financial security in retirement is very important to them, just 33 percent think they are very likely to do so.

One reason women are struggling with retirement is that they tend to earn less than their male counterparts. But another reason is that women have long been given antiquated advice about money, says Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council. “This latest iteration of the Saving for Retirement campaign focuses on shutting down negative and false stigmas related to women and money, with the goal of urging women to take action and utilize the helpful resources offered on, to better prepare for their retirement.”

Originally published by AARP on Nov. 1, 2021

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