There are lots of potholes on the road to retirement, particularly if you're a woman. At Vanguard, one of the nations largest financial firms, the average male customer has saved $121,000 in his retirement account. While the average woman customer has saved $78,000. To catch up, women need to understand the hurdles they face and figure out how to overcome them. Here are three roadblocks that can prevent you from retiring in comfort.
1. Women live longer
The average 65-year-old man can expect to live until age 84.3. The average 65-year-old woman can expect to live until 86.6. While living longer beats the alternative, it costs money. If you're a woman, you'll need more for living expenses and healthcare particularly in your later years.
You can estimate your own life expectancy with an online calculator, such as the one provided on www.livingto100.com. If the calculator estimates you'll live till age 95, you may want to work longer and hold off on claiming social security benefits. For each year you delay between full retirement age and age 70, you'll get an increase in benefits. Another strategy is to buy an annuity that will provide monthly payments until you die.
2. Get the pay you deserve
While women are catching up, they earn less than men, which means their nest eggs are smaller. Lower earnings also reduce the size of their social security benefits when they retire. To get past this obstacle, start saving as early as possible. That will give your savings more time to compound and grow.
You should also check websites such as Glassdoor and Payscale in order to make sure that you're being compensated correctly.
3. Educate yourself on retirement
Learn more about investing so you can get the most out of your retirement portfolio. Women tend to be less confident than men when it comes to investing, but a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.
Mutual Funds are the easiest and most cost effective way to build a portfolio. If you're confused by the choices in your 401K plan or IRA, consider a target fund, which will automatically shift your into more conservative funds as you approach and enter retirement.
Another option is to use low cost index funds to build a balanced portfolio. If you'd rather invest in actively managed funds, check out the Kiplinger 25 for a list of no load mutual funds.
Click on the pictures below to learn of 10 ways you can invest to become a millionaire.
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