Longer life expectancy and lower benefits mean women need to start saving earlier to preserve their long-term financial security, says Acting Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Carolyn Colvin.
More women are in the workforce now than at any other time in our nation’s history. An estimated 60% of the nearly 60 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits annually are women. Yet women on average receive up to $4000 less per year than men. This combined with increasing lifespans means that women may well outlive their financial resources and put the quality of their End-of-Life at risk, says Colvin.
Colvin was once retired and collecting the benefits she now administers. Appointed by President Obama in 2010, she encourages women of all ages to take action early to protect their financial security.
Women are more likely to have lower lifetime benefits because they often have lower lifetime earnings than men. They are also more likely to interrupt their earning to care for family.” Also at play, Colvin says, is the age-old issue of gender inequality in wages.
To help protect their long-term financial security, Colvin wants women to save longer. She encourages them to begin saving as soon as they start earning. She also suggests they use SSA’s calculator to estimate their life expectancy and learn more about how to supplement the benefits they will earn.
The most important thing is women need to do is to spend below their means. Then each time they get a raise, don’t spend that raise. Put it into a 401(k). They haven’t gotten used to spending it yet, so it’s there. And it will grow.”
Read the story and hear the National Public Radio (NPR) interview here.