- When to retire
- Can you retire early?
- How much you will need
- Strategies for outliving your money
Women and men face many of the same challenges when planning for retirement. But women, because their careers are often interrupted to care for children or elderly parents, may have spent less time in the workforce and earned less money than men in the same age group. As a result, their retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits could be lower. In addition to earning less, women generally live longer than men, and they face having to stretch limited retirement savings and benefits over many more years on average.
To meet these challenges, we help map our your retirement and make planning a priority. The “decumulation” phase
Kick up your savings
To maximize your chances of a financially secure retirement, start with a realistic assessment of how much you’ll need to save. If the figure is substantial, don’t be discouraged — the most important thing is to begin saving. Although it’s never too late to save for retirement, the sooner you start, the more time your investments have to grow.
As the old saying goes: “When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. When is the second-best time to plant a tree? Today.”
Options for saving as much as you can
If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b), contribute as much as you can. It’s easy to save because your contributions are deducted tax-free directly from your pay, and some employers will even match a portion of what you contribute. If your employer offers a pension plan, find out how many years you’ll need to work for the company before you’re vested in your pension benefits.
Women struggling to balance work and family sometimes shortchange their retirement savings by leaving their jobs before they become vested in their pension benefits. Keep in mind, too, that because your pension benefits will be based on your earnings and on your years of service, the longer you stay with one employer, the higher your pension is likely to be.
Most employer-sponsored plans allow you to choose from several investment options (typically mutual funds). If you have many years to invest or you’re trying to make up for lost time, give consideration to both dividend-oriented and growth-oriented investments such as stocks and stock funds. Historically, stocks have outperformed bonds and short-term instruments over time, although past performance is no guarantee of future results. However, along with potentially higher returns, stocks carry more risk than less volatile investments. A good way to get detailed information about a mutual fund you’re considering is to read the fund’s prospectus. It includes information about the fund’s objectives, expenses, risks, and past returns.
A traditional IRA or Roth IRA as long as you have enough earned income. Both types of IRAs allow you to make contributions of up to $6,000 in 2021, or, if less, 100% of taxable compensation. If you’re age 50 or older, you’re allowed to contribute an extra $1,000.