Women Need to be Good Investors

By: Angela Howard Email
By: Angela Howard Email

Women have a more uphill struggle than men when it comes to investing, according to Bruce Hagan, a certified financial planner in Tallahassee, Florida.

He says because women still make less than men for the same work, they have to work harder to save.

"A recent report indicated women who rise to management ranks in America earn an average of 81 cents for every dollar a male earns. Not fair but those are the stats," he said.

Hagan went on to say that women save less because most take time off to have children and raise a family, so they work, on average, 27 years compared to 40 for men.

However, women usually live longer than men, so what they save will have to last longer.

"Lastly, women tend to invest more conservatively, which in the long run, can be detrimental."

According to a study done by Laura Locker, if a woman saves 10% of her income each year for 35 years it's quite possible she would retire with about $260,000 less in retirement savings than a man with the same savings patterns. Unfortunately, her Social Security check would be lower too.

So, what can women do to make sure they have enough in the bank when they retire?

"Women need to start saving earlier and save more. In the years that a wife is not working and the husband is, make sure you're funding a spousal IRA for the wife. When you are working participate fully in a company sponsored retirement plan. Diversify your investments, don't put it all in c.d's."

Hagan also suggests having life insurance policies on both spouses, so if something unforeseen happens, the living spouse is covered. Also, Hagan advises men to choose the "joint and survivor" option for their pension not the single life option when facing retirement so that the man's wife will continue to receive pension payments if her husband passes away first.

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