In 2010, women across the broad labor force earned roughly 80 cents for each dollar that men earned, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, when you examine retirement portfolios on both sides of the gender line, there’s a gap there, too. The median account balance for women is about 64 percent that of men, says The Vanguard Group. There are a number of contributing factors: women tend to work a part-time schedule in order to raise a family, which lessens their ability to contribute; they also are likely to turn bonuses or pay rises into family money, rather than investing it. These are obstacles that may not go away, but there are savvy investment moves that can help set women up for a more comfortable retirement. Among them: Keep close tabs on retirement funds if you exit the workplace temporarily or permanently; be an active investor, even if you’re self-employed and don’t have a company plan to participate in; and plan carefully for future health care expenses, which, on average, are much higher for women than men.

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