Women live longer than men. Women spend less time in the work force than men. Women earn less than men. These factors combine to create a difficult retirement picture for women.

“With more years out of the work force to care for family, combined with lower wages and a greater life expectancy, it’s clear that simply being a women in our society may jeopardize your financial security,” says Cindy Hounsell, president of Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement.

WISER commissioned a study, “The Female Factor 2008: Why Women are at Greater Financial Risk in Retirement,” written by Hounsell, which found that women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Those lower earnings and fewer working years mean women have a median retirement income that is just 58 percent of what men can expect.

Financial advisors are positioned to help women overcome the shortfalls they can expect during their working career and in retirement.

Other findings from the WISER study include:

  • Women spend an average of 12 fewer years working than men.
  • The median salary for full-time working women in 2006 was $32,515; it was $42,261 for men.
  • A typical 25-year-old woman with a college degree will earn $523,000 less than a typical college-educated man over her working years.
  • Men’s average Social Security benefit is $377 more per month than women’s.
  • More than 10 percent of female retirees and 20 percent of women over 65 live on less than $10,000 per year.

For more information about the study, visit www.wiserwomen.org or www.paycheckforlife.org.