We’ve all heard the old adage, “A mother’s work is never done.” From surviving sleepless nights with a newborn, to navigating the tumultuous teen years, to gently guiding adult children through life’s challenges, a mother’s job is forever.
Another complexity for mothers is safeguarding their family’s financial security while also saving enough for their own retirement so they aren’t a burden on their children. Unfortunately, financial security in retirement is increasingly precarious for most Americans, especially women.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, here are three things mothers need to know about retirement.
Women face even higher retirement hurdles than men. Many Americans are falling short when it comes to preparing for retirement. About half of households are at risk of not having enough savings to maintain their living standards in retirement. But the situation is worse for women.
We all know women still face a gender pay gap. Eventually, the pay gap becomes a retirement wealth gap. Research by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds that older women receive about 80 percent of the retirement income older men receive, a disparity that indeed mirrors the gender pay gap. More specifically, the median household income for women aged 65 and older in 2016 was $47,244, or 83 percent of median household income for men at $57,144. The NIRS research also finds that caregiving, especially spousal caregiving, has a more detrimental economic impact on women than on men. Additionally, divorce makes retirement more difficult for women, although the timing of divorce seems to matter.