(Bloomberg) — Lower earnings and longer lives—it’s a powerful one-two punch, and it threatens to keep women on the ropes in retirement.
A recent study measured the retirement savings divide between 45-year-old men and women. It found that women, on average, are more than $268,000 short of what they need to retire comfortably at 65. For the average man, it’s $212,000. For every $100 a man sets aside, a woman needs to set aside $126. That’s a 26 percent gender gap.
What can be done? Women need to begin their retirement planning all the earlier, to determine what goal would realistically suit them (most people don’t even run projections). While estimating future expenses is hard, the websites of large fund companies have calculators to help investors figure it out, and better planning tools are showing up on more 401(k) plan sites.