James Carroll, CPA L.L.C.

James Carroll, CPA
Member
109 Church Road
Owings Mills, MD 21117
410-356-3479
carrollj@jamescarroll-cpa.com
www.carrollj@jamescarroll-cpa.com

James Carroll, CPA L.L.C.
Planning Your Financial FutureJanuary 2019

Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back?

Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let's take a look at three of them.

First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear.

It's a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several financial losses beyond the immediate loss of a salary.

In the near term, it can mean an interruption in saving for retirement and the loss of any employer match, the loss of other employee benefits like health or disability insurance, and the postponement of student loan payments. In the mid term, it may mean a stagnant salary down the road due to difficulties re-entering the workforce and/or a loss of promotion opportunities. And in the long term, it may mean potentially lower Social Security retirement benefits because your benefit is based on the number of years you've worked and the amount you've earned. (Generally, you need about 10 years of work, or 40 credits, to qualify for your own Social Security retirement benefits.)

Second, women generally earn less over the course of their lifetimes. Sometimes this can be explained by family caregiving responsibilities, occupational segregation, educational attainment, or part-time schedules. But that's not the whole story. A stubborn gender pay gap has women earning, on average, about 82% of what men earn for comparable full-time jobs, although the gap has narrowed to 89% for women ages 25 to 34.1 In any event, earning less over the course of one's lifetime often means lower overall savings, retirement plan balances, and Social Security benefits.

Third, statistically, women live longer than men.2 This means women will generally need to stretch their retirement savings and benefits over a longer period of time.

1) Pew Research Center, The Narrowing, But Persistent, Gender Gap in Pay, April 2018
2) NCHS Data Brief, Number 293, December 2017

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Any federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments, enclosures, or other accompanying materials) was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties; furthermore, this communication was not intended or written to support the promotion or marketing of any of the transactions or matters it addresses.

Prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions Copyright 2019.