Women and retirement

Women and retirement

Planning and saving for a secure retirement is an essential and unavoidable part of life. Men and women will face different challenges when they plan for retirement. These challenges are best tackled early and will need careful preparation. If you are a woman, the single most important thing that you can do is to take action as early as possible in order to secure a happy and sustainable future in your later years.


Women tend to live longer

It is a known fact that women have a longer life expectancy than men. According to a retirement report done by DBS (December 2014)(1), women on average live up to 84.5 years of age while men live up to 79.9 years.

life expectancy of women is 84.5 years while men is 79.9 years

Living longer is a positive thing, and ideally you would be able to live out your retirement years in comfort, and leave a legacy behind for your children and grandchildren. Everyone deserves to retire in independence, free from financial worries. With good foresight and proper planning, you can make comfortable retirement a reality.


The wage gap

Most women in the world earn less than their male counterparts, though optimistically the income gap is decreasing. Singapore was recently ranked the 10th best country in the world when it came to equality in men and women’s wages for similar jobs (October 2014)(2). But with fewer earnings, women are ultimately left with less to save and, or invest.

best in the world in equality in men and women's wages


Career breaks

Since women are statistically the primary caregivers in most homes and more likely to put their careers on hold to tend to children, or to care for aging parents, another unique challenge they face is being prone to interruptions in their career. Childbirth also causes a number of women to take a break from their working life.

women are the primary caregivers in most homes

When women do return to the workforce, they may have to opt for jobs that offer better work-life balance, due to family responsibilities. If this means taking up part-time jobs or those without matching-contribution memberships, this will leave women with less opportunities to fund their nest eggs.


Financial literacy

When it comes to financial knowledge and preparedness, men tend to score better in comparison (August 2012)(3).

However, the younger generation of women is closing the gap. An increasing number are working and hold full time jobs, making them more likely to be self sufficient. There is improvement in debt management, saving for emergencies and retirement planning. More women are making an effort to educate themselves financially and have begun saving for retirement or looking at investments (July 2013)(4).

improvements in debt management, savings for emergencies, retirement planning


Next steps

Women can learn to face their unique challenges and plan accordingly to achieve a secure and independent retirement. Here are some suggestions on what you should do:

Optimise work to maximise your current income by making use of the CPF contribution gained and higher interest.
Set money aside regularly for your retirement.
Plan for the unplanned.
Conduct a financial health check with our relationship managers. Learn about your finances and where you stand.
Try to save and invest up to 20% of your income.

 

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Sources and References:

(1)https://www.posb.com.sg/iwov-resources/pdf/retirement/retirement_report.pdf
(2)http://www.straitstimes.com/business/the-global-gender-gap-heres-how-singapore-compares-to-the-rest-of-the-world
(3)http://www.forbes.com/sites/feeonlyplanner/2012/11/08/women-live-longer-than-men-but-save-less-for-retirement
(4)http://finance.yahoo.com/news/financial-finesse-releases-latest-study-131200666.html