Five reasons women might retire with more wealth
There are some compelling reasons why women may be in better financial shape than men when they retire.
We hear a lot about how women might be shortchanged in terms of earnings, but there are also plenty of ways women can excel financially. From potentially stronger savings and investment habits, to longer lifespans, women enjoy some serious wealth-building advantages, as well. Here are five reasons women might retire with more wealth.
1. More Women Are Gaining Higher Education
In fact, women are handily defeating men in the college game. Because women are more likely to graduate from college than their male counterparts, they enter the workforce in better shape. Sure, women are more likely to enter lower-paid areas of the education and health sectors, but they are also breaking into business and STEM programs at an increasing rate.
While college loan debt can slow down your plans to save, the correlation between college and increased earnings is still present. The trick is to start investing as soon as you begin to see your margin of expendable income widen, ideally before age 30.
2. Women Are Living and Working Longer
That's right: Women typically live longer, and thus have more healthful years during which they may work. That means continuing to work in later years — when earnings may be higher, and more returns from compound interest on savings enjoyed. It also means a postponed retirement, which allows your investments to grow for longer.
Check out this handy guide to reaching your investing goals.
3. Women Are Better Savers at all Income Levels
The road is full of unexpected hurdles to saving, and expensive emergencies are all but inevitable. The good news for female workers is that women are better at saving than men in general. If that weren't enough, the same study showed that women are also better at managing their 401K accounts than men.
It still takes discipline, however, to work this psychology to your advantage. Make specific goals and stick to them.
4. Forgoing Children Could Mean More Savings
On the fence about starting a family? According to the 2014 census, 48% of women between the ages of 18 and 44 do not have children. Clearly, women are increasingly waiting to have kids, or deferring the option altogether.
Consider that this may mean more money for those women down the line. Delaying kids can mean more time to solidify your career and earnings, amass savings, and reduce debt before the financial pressures of kids arrive. If you are a 20- or 30-something still weighing the options, avoiding the fate of the sandwich generation might be a deciding factor in postponing or entirely forgoing children.
5. Women Are Less Likely to Make Risky Trades
In addition to being better savers, more educated, and having more working years in which to save, women are also less likely to gamble their savings in poor investments. Women are generally more risk averse than men.
That said, there is no reason not to learn how to pick more varied investments and take a slightly higher risk (hopefully for greater rewards) every now and then. Try listening to these great money podcasts to pick up tips and stay up to date with the market.
Women enjoy a variety of natural advantages when it comes to earning and managing money. The key is making full use of them to strengthen your financial roadmap.
This article first appeared at WiseBread.
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