Experts say women should plan to save more for retirement than men

Women typically live longer, earn less than men, which can affect their retirement funds and benefits

Experts say women have to save even more for their retirement for several reasons -- here's what we're learning.

When it comes to planning for retirement, experts are saying that women should plan to save more money than men do.

Many of us wish we could have stashed away more money for when retirement rolls around. But now, we’re learning that women in particular have to save up even more.

According to Mary Lou Gura with the Michigan Association of CPAs, there are a number of reasons why women require more money going into retirement.

The first reason is that women typically to live longer than men do.

“If (women are) saving for themself, they’ve got longer years to save for. And if they outlive their spouse, for example, they have to carry themselves through the rest of their lifetime,” Gura said.

The second reason is more complicated: Women largely receive less money from social security than men do, which means women should save up more ahead of time.

Social security payments are often smaller for women since women typically earn less money than men do, Gura said. If a woman leaves the workforce to raise a family or care for an elder, which is common, it impacts social security benefits down the line, as social security is based on a person’s highest 35 years of wages.

“If a person ... doesn’t have 35 years of working history, say she only has 20, those excess 15 years are filled in with zeros,” Gura said. “So, that average over the 35 years is much lower, obviously, and that affects the social security benefit.”

In fact, Gura recommends people to log onto the Social Security Administration’s website now so that you can see what your projected benefit is. Gura says that most people will be surprised by how little it is.

Related: Here’s why you should be saving more for retirement in 2022

When it comes to saving for retirement, it is, of course, much easier said than done for a lot of people. Difficult as it may be, though, Gura says that saving for retirement is an absolute necessity, and that people should supplement their social security with their retirement account.

“If you’re looking for another solution, there’s probably not a lot out there,” Gura said. “I look at for all the years that I’ve worked, and what my benefit’s going to be -- I couldn’t live on it.”

You can estimate your social security retirement benefits on the SSA’s website right here.


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Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.