« Back to Blog

Are You Saving for Retirement? — Advice for Women

Posted March 28, 2017

A 2016 Survey by GOBankingRates found that 56% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. Scary stuff. Scarier still is that two-thirds of the women surveyed said they had no savings or less than $10,000 in retirement savings, compared with just over half of the men.

The reasons for these discrepancies are well-documented:

  • Women are more likely to work in part-time jobs that don’t qualify them for a retirement plan.
  • Working women are more likely than men to interrupt their careers to take care of family members.
  • Fewer years in the workforce and part-time wages can result in lower lifetime savings.

On average, a woman at age 65 can expect to live another 20 years, two years longer than a man the same age.* Living longer on less is a risky proposition, but this risk doesn’t have to define your future. Rather, use the information to inform the decisions you make, and the actions you take, today:

  1. Contribute the max to your retirement savings plan at work.
    Save what you can, then save a little more. For 2017, women younger than age 50 can defer up to $18,000 each year. If you’re age 50 or older, an annual catch up contribution of $6,000 is allowed. At a minimum, contribute enough to your 401(k) or other retirement plan to get the maximum employer match available. Your Human Resources representative can help you get started or make changes.
  2. Look for other ways to save.
    If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan or you’re self-employed, discuss other options with your tax advisor. A traditional IRA or Roth IRA can provide retirement savings as well as tax advantages now and in the future. Simplified Employer Plans (SEPs) and Individual 401(k) plans offer higher contributions for self-employed individuals.
  3. Put the money away, but make sure it’s working.
    By and large, women invest more conservatively than men. Seek the advice of an investment professional to align your investment choices with your retirement goals. Taking a little risk now can pay big rewards in the future.
  4. Round up all the “eggs” as you build your retirement nest.
    Consolidate retirement plans from previous employers by rolling them into an Individual Retirement Account. This will maintain the tax deferral status of the money and give you a clearer picture of your retirement portfolio.

* US Department of Labor

Sign up for our monthly Bell e-News.

To get the latest news and updates from us, please fill out the form and click "Subscribe" to receive our e-newsletter.

Market Analysis

White paper feature image
Market Analysis – March 2017
April 4, 2017

In my 35 years as a Financial Advisor, I have never seen a U.S. President capture so much attention ...


video feature image
President Trump: The First Sixty Days
April 5, 2017

A discussion of the Trump administration’s actions and policies that are relevant to investors and


bellinvest publicaion
It’s Not All About Trump!
April 18, 2017

With all of the political drama and turmoil in Washington, it is a good counterpoint that America, E...

Latest News

Bell Supports The Community Through Rebuilding Together Oakland/East Bay.

For two Saturdays every April for the last six years, Bell staff with family and friends and in conjunction with staff from the law firm Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP, have volunteered for a labor of love — providing home repair and landscape cleanup for a stressed home in the community. This support is […]

Latest Tweet

Connect With Us

bellinvest 20 year