Making plans for the future can be tough for anyone, but sometimes especially for women.
Retirement planning is particularly difficult for women for a variety of reasons. For example, women tend to prioritize paying off debt and saving up for the family over making retirement plans. Additionally, the gender pay gap causes many women to make less money than men, leading to heightened concerns about retirement savings.
These are just some circumstances that may lead women to struggle with retirement plans. In order to help you get started, we put together all the steps you need to put your retirement planning first.
1. Improve Financial Literacy
Financial literacy refers to the knowledge and skills that help you make financial decisions. Without this familiarity, retirement planning can feel intimidating, particularly for women who tend to have lower levels of financial literacy than men. To improve your comfortability, you can read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts about finance. Once you know the basics of personal finance, you might feel more comfortable making retirement plans.
2. Increase Income
When it comes to retirement plans, accumulating enough savings can be a big concern. However, there are simple ways to boost your income. For example, starting a side hustle can be a great way to pursue your hobbies while making money. Passive income also can be an easy strategy for adding to the bank. Dividend stocks, rental property income, and online course sales are just a few ways to passively build savings.
3. Make Long-Term Plans
In order to prepare for retirement the right way, you need to think about your future needs. Taking expenses like long-term care facilities into consideration can give you a better understanding of the amount you’ll need to save for retirement. From there, you can learn about your financial options.
4. Negotiate with Employers
Although women are less likely to negotiate salaries than men, negotiating can be a powerful way to increase your income. Research how much money others earn for similar positions and regularly ask for higher salaries, raises, and promotions. The additions to your paycheck might help you rack up retirement savings.
5. Open a Retirement Account
This tip might seem obvious, but it’s critical to open a retirement account. Many places of work offer their employees plans like 401(k). For people without that option, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or spousal IRA accounts are a few alternatives. Having a retirement account is the start to all your future plans.
6. Automate Withdrawals
If manually adding savings to your retirement account seems like a pain, automated investments might be the method for you. Automated payments deduct a certain amount from your paychecks and transfer that money into your retirement account. You’ll be able to make consistent additions to your savings that’ll pay off in the long run.
7. Change Your Mindset
If you feel like time is running out for making solid retirement plans, you might believe there’s only so much you can accomplish. However, there’s a lot you can do for your future, no matter when you start planning for it. Whenever you feel yourself becoming negative about your retirement planning, remember that there is an abundance of resources available to help you reach your goals.
8. Maintain Marketability
A lot of women leave the workforce to raise their children. Once the kids grow up, however, they’re left without the skills and connections needed to pursue their original career. In order to avoid this problem, you can continue pursuing your education, working on your marketable skills, and networking in your desired industry. Then, you might find it easier to start work again and earn money to put toward retirement.
9. Prioritize Retirement Planning
Lastly, and most importantly, prioritizing retirement plans is the key to a better future. Although it seems overwhelming, getting started is the hardest part. Once you take small steps like opening a retirement account and setting up automatic payments, the rest of your plans might feel a bit less daunting. Even though retirement planning can be more challenging for women, there are ways to make it easier. By following these tips, you can feel more prepared and excited for your future. For more advice on making retirement plans as a woman, check out the infographic below.
Jennifer Anderson is a writer with a passion for all things history and popular culture. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she loves to explore nearby cities via public transit and discover new things about her favorite spots. In her spare time, you’ll find her researching cultural history, going on hikes, and searching for vintage finds at local thrift shops.