Why Single Women Are Having a Tougher Time in Retirement

Having a decent retirement plan is getting tougher for everyone for a variety of reasons. Out of the entire pool of retirees, though, it may be single women who have it the worst. Here are some reasons why that’s the case, as well as some things that women are doing to make ends meet once they decide to leave the workforce.

Despite the efforts in recent years to promote equal pay, there’s still a pay gap between men and women in the US. According to the US Department of Labor, women who work full-time only make about 83.7% of what men make. That can total up to $10,000 a year in favor of men. However, it’s important to note that this data doesn’t necessarily indicate that women are getting paid less because of their gender. There are other factors that come into play, like the fact that men still take up most of the senior roles in companies, allowing them to rack up a higher rate of pay.

Regardless of why women make less than men, it still means that women are getting thinner checks in the mail once they decide to retire. One of the main solutions that single women are finding to this problem is extending their active work life. Single women may be more likely to work past the age of 65 out of necessity. Apart from the lower pay, data from Goldman Sachs also indicates that women are reaching the age of 65 with a lower number of eligible work weeks that they can cash in on post-retirement.

According to the data, women are more likely to spend considerable time unemployed, even during their active work years. This is because, statistically, women are more willing to take time off work to care for sick parents, for example. It’s also more likely that women will take years off work once they become mothers. Unfortunately, this directly impacts their retirement funds. Again, one of the few alternatives that they have is to remain in the workforce through their 60s.

On average, single women in their 50s have almost 50K less in their retirement funds than single men of the same age. The stats favor single women even less when paired up against married couples, particularly those in which both members have worked consistently throughout their lives.

But there’s still a silver lining for women headed for their later years. In most cases, they tend to have more free time than couples as their caregiving responsibilities with their parents have likely ended. Since they’re single, they can live off less money in retirement. People in general are living longer and more active lives, and single women, in particular, are taking this opportunity to travel the world and even pursue new career paths, which is a trend among all people close to the age of 65. Despite the lower income, single women have more “freedom” to enjoy their retired life. That’s something that many of them are actively looking to pursue once it’s time to leave the workforce.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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