A study by Hewitt Associates shows that women continue to be behind in saving for retirement compared to men. Longer life spans and lower pay contribute to the disparity, but research shows women tend to invest less aggressively and don’t take advantage of company matching. The study found only 26 percent of women make regular changes to their investment plans, compared with 30 percent of men.

The study cites a 2006 Allianz Insurance Study which shows 90 percent of women confess feeling insecure when it comes to managing their finances. By investing two years earlier, women could save an extra 18 percent. Increasing the amount they invest by 2 percent can increase income replacement rates by an average of 7 percent. Hewitt research shows 45 percent of employees cash out 401(k)s when they leave a job. As women leave the workforce more frequently than men, they should leave their 401(k) accounts untouched, potentially saving 20 percent in federal taxes and 10 percent in early withdrawal penalties.