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3 startling facts about women and retirement

MoneyTalksNews logo MoneyTalksNews 3/22/2017 Karla Bowsher


For all the advances women have made in recent decades, retirement remains one area where they face challenges.

In conjunction with National Women’s History Month, the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) released some sobering statistics about the outlook for women during their golden years.

Perhaps the most startling number is women’s total household retirement savings — an estimated median amount of only $34,000. The total household savings for men is more than three times that, with an estimated median figure of $115,000.

Catherine Collinson, TCRS president, explains in an announcement:

“… women continue to encounter challenges including lower pay, time out of the workforce for parenting or caregiving, and longer life expectancies that all contribute to unique challenges in adequately saving for retirement.”

Here are three other statistics that every woman should be mindful of.

Emergency savings

An ambulance exits from University Hospital in Newark, NJ © Kena Betancur/Getty Images An ambulance exits from University Hospital in Newark, NJ

The TCRS reports that women’s emergency savings is an estimated median amount of $2,000.

On one hand, that’s not so bad considering that we’ve previously reported that 41 percent of all Americans have no savings to cover an emergency expense.

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Still, as we recently explained in “Beware These 12 Common Money Mistakes,” you should aim for enough of an emergency cushion to cover your net take-home pay for seven or eight months.

If you’re in need of a savings account or one that pays you more interest, visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center. You can find a higher-paying savings account by searching based on multiple factors that you can personalize.

Social Security

Social security cards © Social security cards Social security cards

The TCRS reports that 82 percent of women are concerned that the Social Security system won’t be there for them when they are ready to retire. Additionally, 27 percent of women expect to rely on Social Security benefits as their primary source of retirement income.

If you are concerned about Social Security, educate yourself about how much you can reasonably expect to receive. Check out the Social Security section of our Solutions Center to find out how you can obtain a personalized Social Security analysis.

Tax credit for saving for retirement

Senior Woman Calculating Bills © Commercial Eye/Getty Images Senior Woman Calculating Bills

Only 25 percent of women are aware of the federal tax credit known as the Saver’s Credit, the TCRS reports.

As we recently reported in “Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax Breaks,” this tax break can wipe up to $1,000 ($2,000 if filing jointly) from your tax bill.

It’s intended to encourage lower-income individuals to put money away for retirement. If you’re eligible, you can get a 10 to 50 percent credit off the first $2,000 ($4,000 if filing jointly) that you contribute to a qualified retirement account.


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