How to Help Your Female Employees Retire Well

A new study shows retired women have a harder time financially than their male peers. The good news is you can help your company’s female employees plan better retirement outcomes for themselves.

Women More Likely to Be Impoverished in Retirement 

The National Institute on Retirement Society issued a special report on women and retirement in March 2016. It revealed that although some Baby Boomer women may have entered the workforce later in life than women in younger generations, that delay can’t fully explain a gender gap in retirement incomes that persists across all age brackets.

In fact the gap widens as people age. According to NIRS researchers:

  • Women 65 and older have an income 25% less than men.
  • The gap between women and men aged 80 is even wider, at 44%.
  • Perhaps most significantly, women above the age of 65 are 80% more likely to be impoverished than males in the same age bracket.

The report’s authors say several factors contribute to the gap, including women’s longer life expectancy and their higher likelihood of having a retirement-age disability.

How to Help Women Win With Retirement

Here are a few steps you can take to help the women on your team face retirement with more resources and greater confidence.

  • Start by emphasizing the basics of smart money management. Many people—both women and men— are broke, the result of our broader national crisis of unresolved debt and a failure to budget well during our working years. Employees of both genders need to learn the basics of budgeting and pay off their debt so they can invest for retirement with confidence.
  • Talk with your team frequently about the need for retirement planning. Chances to do so include during onboarding, in open enrollment periods and in seasonal promotions for benefits education.
  • Offer as many retirement educational tools as possible, from periodic lunch-and-learns to online access to videos and articles. Key topics include disability insurance, long-term care and investing.
  • It’s also possible some women on your team are concerned they can’t meet their current financial obligations and invest for retirement, too. That’s an understandable worry. Reassure them that it doesn’t take a lot of money to begin building a secure retirement.

A financial wellness program emphasizing a holistic approach and long-term behavior change will allow your company to help more women to get on the road to better money outcomes and a solid retirement.

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