Women Face Unique Challenges in Retirement Planning

Baby Boomer women face challenges unprecedented in retirement planning, according to the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER).

Although women capably manage daily finances and family budgeting issues, they are less likely to be involved in the bigger financial picture, said Lara Hinz, WISER’s director of programs. Hinz was a speaker at a panel Monday for National Retirement Planning Week.

She cited several factors that intensify women’s needs regarding retirement planning, including their longer lifespan, generally lower savings, and greater number of years living alone when compared with men; their years spent as primary caregivers to children, which reduced their work hours over a career; and their general lack of preparedness regarding “the big picture” of financial planning despite their lifetime of involvement with household finances.

Hinz added that there is still insufficient understanding of the consequences of living past age 85, which women are four times more likely to do than men.

But Hinz emphasized that just learning the basics was enough to give women more confidence to have financial planning discussions with their employer’s human resources department or with their family.

“It’s never too late, despite how overwhelming it can feel,” Hinz said.

The WISER site offers visitors online tools and a calculator; links to financial articles of interest to women; a checklist of phrases and promises to be weary of; and articles that also help men, including “10 Ways that Boomer Women (and Men) Can Save Themselves from Retirement Shortfalls.”

WISER is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the opportunities for women to secure retirement income, and to educate the public about the inequities to women in retirement.

More about the organization is here.