Sallie Krawcheck, a former executive at Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney, wrote a piece for The Washington Post about why the retirement savings crisis is also a women’s crisis and provided startling figures to back up this assertion. Americans of all kinds have not saved enough for retirement and current data were calculated to include the assistance retirees would get from Social Security and Medicare. According to Krawcheck, a lack of retirement planning will hit women especially hard because:
“…women retire with two-thirds the savings of men, live six to eight years longer and have higher medical costs. Plus, 80 percent of women are single in their final years.”
Add to this the fact that fewer women are working and you can see why Krawcheck is concerned. She outlines society-wide solutions because she thinks there is a need to “shift the workplace to a more inclusive, modern one.” and to not do this because it is fair but because it can help our country avoid a crisis.
Krawcheck, who now owns a professional networking group for women, suggest closing the gender pay gap and instituting better parental leave policies. She also notes that she has seen companies with policies that benefit women not implement these initiatives very well. For example, if your company has flexible scheduling but the company culture is one where people fear using it, then it won’t help much.
If you are in a position to make changes that will help women in the workplace, you might consider what you can do.
No matter what kind of influence you have or don’t have on workplace policies, one area where you exercise control is your own finances. Unfortunately, many women cannot wait for pay equity or better workplace policies. They have to earn money with the current gender pay gap, find a way to make the most of their resources now, and prepare for retirement. If you want to look to the future, get help from a Fee-Only financial planner like Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP. Claire learned the importance of financial planning and literacy at an early age and is dedicated to helping people, and women especially, take care of themselves and the people they love.