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Is our retirement system fair to women?

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Is our retirement system fair to women?

Sometimes life happens, and financial needs get pushed to a back burner. What happens to the daughter, wife, and mother who is living the life of the “sandwich generation”? She is a working wife, mom, and daughter – caring for a home, raising kids and caring for their parents all at the same time.

Women saving for retirement

Is this woman able to save for retirement? There’s already a wage gap, and a lot of women have cared for children so they’ve lost years of wages or they’ve worked part-time with no benefits. Now many of these same women are in a position of caring for their parents, so they are quitting work again or moving to part-time employment out of necessity. Whether it is hiring care for your children or parents, it is expensive, and sometimes a woman’s work schedule has to be altered to accommodate the needs of the family. Often, women live longer than men too.

It seems apparent why women are much more likely to be poor at retirement age than men. Women put in many long hours in various occupations and still have the responsibility and pressure associated with obtaining proper care for their family members.

Recommendations to improve retirement for women:

  • Improving social security
  • Increasing tax credits for savers
  • Automated enrollment in IRAs
  • Introducing retirement plans to part-time workers.

For example, Starbucks has been offering benefits to part-time employees making it a favorite employer for those who need a part-time work schedule.

We all should care about this retirement gender gap problem and do what we can to make a difference. Whether it’s your grandmother, aunt, mother, wife, daughter, friend or peer, you want to see this person get to retire well someday. Our country’s hard-working women are earning less, taking time off work typically out of necessity, working part-time often out of necessity, saving less money for retirement and living longer. 

Kara Stiles at Forbes wrote an excellent piece that details the problems women face in saving for retirement. These include the wage gap, losing earning years to caregiving for children, working part time (so no benefits), and just plain living longer than men. The retirement gender gap won’t go away unless we address it properly as a society, and soon.

After Fifty Living™ was founded by Jo-Anne Lema, a genuine Boomer and member of the 50+ generation. As she likes to say, “Our enormous generation is charting new territory – we’re healthier, better educated, and more financially fit than any other generation at this time. And, as we march through history, 110 million strong – unique, new issues are developing. It’s exciting to be a part of the development and growth of This is a historic solution for a historic generation.”

Jo-Anne spent many years in the financial and operations side of higher education after having received a doctorate in education management and administration from Harvard, and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. Launching out on her own, though, has been the fulfillment of a life dream. Jo-Anne believes that “AfterFiftyLiving™ will delight its visitors, catalyze its partners, and will significantly benefit those who engage it.”

Residing in New England along with her husband of 35+ years, she never ceases to brag about her two children and 4 grandkids!

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