Mother's Day MoneyLast week, ING released some new research on women and retirement:
On average, women have nearly $41,000 less socked away for their future than men.

I wasn't completely shocked by the finding, nor will you be, I'm sure. The root of the problem is pretty clear: We women are still paid less than our male counterparts. We're more likely to be single parents, and if we're not, we still spend more time out of the workforce caring for children, for which we'll be celebrated come Mother's Day on
Sunday.

All told, we work about 32 years to a man's average 44. And we're more likely to be in part-time positions, working for employers who don't offer retirement plans.

"Women end up with a lower income, and less time spent in the workforce, which means they get lower Social Security benefits -- 26% less in Social Security benefits than men," says Delia deLisser, director of women's programs at ING U.S.

The rub is that women will need more retirement savings than men, not less. We tend to live longer, meaning we face years of living alone and caring for ourselves. And because of that, we have higher medical costs in retirement: A recent report from the Insured Retirement Institute found that a 65-year-old man can expect to spend $350,000 for health care expenses throughout the remainder of his life. The average woman will need $417,000.

Luckily, we're also used to working hard, because getting to your retirement goals takes a little hard work and dedication. I'm giving you Sunday to put your feet up, bask in the glow of your family and eat breakfast in bed. But come Monday, it's time to buckle down about retirement. Here are three things you can do to get on track, no matter what your income is:

1. Find the right way to save. If you have a retirement plan at work, and your employer offers matching contributions, that's the place to start. Begin by contributing as much as it takes to get the maximum amount of that free money, then slowly work your way up from there. The best trick is to increase your contribution each time you get a raise, and ask your HR department to deposit bonuses directly into your 401(k).

If an employer plan isn't an option, you want an IRA. That includes all of you stay-at-home mothers: You're eligible to open and fund a spousal IRA as long as you and your spouse file a joint tax return and his income is at least as much as your contribution. You can put up to $5,000 a year in that account.

2. Set a budget that includes retirement contributions. This is a common mistake: You budget first, then save later. But your budget should include retirement as a line item, right next to groceries, the mortgage, and your cell phone bill. It's just as nonnegotiable.

"Make sure that you're setting aside money for retirement at the same time as your household expenses," says deLisser. If you don't, you'll always find another use for that cash. This is easy if you have a 401(k): Contributions are pulled out before you receive your paycheck. If you don't, set up your IRA to automatically pull contributions from your checking account each month.

3. Get some guidance. To save effectively, it helps to have a plan -- a roadmap for the future. The best place to start is an online calculator that will help you draw up an estimate of what you'll need in retirement. I like the Ballpark E$timate or T. Rowe Price's Retirement Income Calculator. Once you have that, you should get some outside help to get there. Talk to friends and family members who are good with their money, says deLisser. " That's a great way to get started learning about this - you can find out what they're doing and what works and doesn't work for them. As you need more guidance, you can work with a professional." NAPFA.org is a great resource for finding a financial planner in your area.


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Setanta

now WHY IS THIS @#$! still up ?
too bad all cannot get it together and set up these finance lines for posting purposes AS THESE BOARDS remain UNCENSORED
unlike huuffffffffffffpooooop which refuses to allow THE PLAIN UNADULTERATED TRUTH.

i mean,look at the breck boy....john edwards--isn't this the same pos that was skerries VP ?
and we DID INFORM YOU of him back when too...a CONFIRMED LIAR even then-

let's put the diMs outta business 2012.

May 11 2012 at 2:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cptexasmac

WOMAN SPEND MORE THAN MEN FOR NAIL, HAIR; PERFUME, LOTIONS, MAKEUP ETC. NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON OR IF IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG IS NOT THE POINT, THERE REALLY IS THE SHORTFALL. I GUESS IF THEY WANTED THE NUMBERS TO CHANGE THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

May 10 2012 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ronald Smith

(FACT ) Women should be paid exactly what a FREAKING man get's paid. My Mother raised 3 of us kid's on her salary and did well , while my nowhere to be found Dad did what he wanted to do and never was around .If I have a white cotton shirt dry cleaned and it cost me 99 cent's. A woman takes a white blouse and she pay's $4.99 to have it dry cleaned. I get a hair cut and it's $9.00 a woman get's a hair cut and it cost her at least $25.00 Women pay more for cloth's , and have to buy Tampon's , exspensive make-up , and spend most of the money on there chrildren . And half the women in the USA are supporting there kid's by themselves. (FACT ) Women should make more than men... Just an't fair .. They are the responsible one's in the family . I'd be a BITCH too if I were a woman . Just think about it ..

May 10 2012 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ronald Smith's comment
Setanta

uuuuuuuuuuuh ronnie ? the laws are on the books inre job title and EXPERIENCE
and there NEVER WAS ANY REASON on the face of the earth that OTHER WOMEN never figured it all out from where to get a haircut CHEAP,HOW TO FEED their family as in COOKING and the same for cold water and palmolive liquid for ANY GARMENT including wool coats to get cleaned.

May 11 2012 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
IPD

More men have "hard labor" type jobs in which the average woman can't handle or won't do, and some of those jobs pay a little more. Most women work behind a desk, and those jobs sometimes pay a little less. Also, most women tend spend a little more on clothes, and non-essential items than men. It doesn't take a lot of brain power to then conclude that as a result, women save less green backs.

May 10 2012 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mcc1cam

A) I'm not worried about retirement because I am a writer - I don't think my career has an expiration date!
B) That's why I had a kid...he owes me big time!

May 10 2012 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jc2009USA

Yes it's true the pay discreptancies between the sexies is part of the problem...but the rest is based on shoes, handbags, clothes and cosmetics...pick at random any man and any woman and look at these 4 items in each home and you will see HUGE differences ... in 90% of the cases... so is this something that is innanely part of a womans makeup or is it a societital learned / taught issue?

May 10 2012 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
duey35

One word, Shoes

May 10 2012 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PETEY

women save less,because they are generally paid less,from the get go! Divorced women with children,usually get double screwed!

May 10 2012 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kellie

Ad I thought it was because of shoes and internet shopping.....who knew?

May 10 2012 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
albertgraphics

so my wife has -$41,000 in the bank???!!!!

May 10 2012 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply