Let me tell you about unique challenges about money that women often face. There are many, but let’s focus on four.
WOMEN MAKE LESS AND WORK LESS
This for starters: according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau called Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019, the median income of men working full-time, year-round was $57,456 for 2019. It was $49,299 for women – 86% of what men made.
Furthermore, according to one study, on average, women’s income peaks at age 39 at around $60,000 per year. By contrast, for men, it’s age 48 at about $95,000 per year.
Women also spend less time – 12 fewer years – in the workforce in general for various reasons like childrearing, caregiving for aging parents and so on.
WOMEN ARE THE PRIMARY CARETAKER OF AGING PARENTS
According to a study, an estimated 66% of caregivers are female. It found that the average caregiver is:
What does this all mean?
For starters, more women caring for aging parents means that more of them are reducing their work hours or quitting their jobs altogether.
This translates into lost Social Security benefits.
It also results in a missed opportunities to contribute to 401(k) and other retirement plans.
WOMEN LIVE LONGER THAN MEN
The good news is that women live longer than men. And the bad news is, you guessed it, women live longer than men. Women tend to marry older men and they are three times more likely to be widowed than men. So it would pay for women to prepare for the latter years of life when they will be living independently.
Women Lack Confidence When It Comes to Money
To top it all off, women tend to lack confidence when it comes to money. 52% of women think that their husband or male partner does a better job of managing the family finances.
In fact, here is an ugly truth. Apparently, it is so easy to manipulate women that it costs more just to be a woman. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that the male and female versions of consumer products were practically identical except for the gender-specific packaging.
For example, “women, on average, paid 48 percent more for goods like shampoo, conditioner and gel. Razor cartridges came in second place, costing female shoppers 11 percent more.” So go ahead, skip the pink razor and go for the unsightly macho version.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
Okay, so that was depressing.
But don’t be. You can do something to overcome the challenges.
But it takes thoughtful planning and requires you to think strategically about your finances.
That’s a topic for another day.
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