Women are more vulnerable to financial insecurity
because they typically live longer, have more breaks
in their employment and earn less.
Making the right financial decisions is therefore crucial
for all women, from Social Security to the rest of their
Technically speaking, Social Security is gender-neutral.
However, a combination of several factors
creates different levels of retirement security for
women and men. Here are some of the main reasons
that a woman has a higher risk of not having sufficient
money in her retirement years:
More Breaks in Employment
Women have less
time in the workforce due to pregnancy, childcare or
family care responsibilities, resulting in lower Social
Security benefits than men.
According to the most recent data from the
Department of Labor, women are more likely than
men to be out of the workforce or to have breaks in
employment. In fact, 74% of women between 25 and
54 were in the workforce, compared with 89% of men.
The gap widens in the 55-to-65 age group.
Women Earn Less
Despite the wage gap shrinking
over the past few decades, women still earn less than
men, generally speaking.
In fact, according to the most recent data from the
Social Security Administration:
The median earnings of working-age women
who worked full-time, year-round were
$40,000, compared to $50,000 for men.
Exacerbating the issue, the average annual Social
Security income received by women 65 years and
older was $13,891, compared to $17,663 for men.
For unmarried women – including widows –
age 65 and older, Social Security comprises
45% of their total income.
In contrast, Social Security benefits comprise
only 33% of unmarried elderly men's
income and only 28% of elderly couples'
46% of all elderly unmarried females
receiving Social Security benefits relied on
Social Security for 90% or more of their
Women Live Longer
A woman at 65 is expected to
live 2.2 years longer than her male counterpart.
Further, according to a study by the Center for
Retirement Research at Boston College, the odds
women need nursing home care is higher, and they
spend more time in care than men.
During retirement, women are more likely to be single,
widowed or divorced. Since most women have older
spouses, they are likely to end up widowed without
the financial assistance their husbands may have
Consider this sobering statistic: While the poverty rate
of a married couple over 65 is only 4.2%, the poverty
rate of a post-65 single woman is 20.3%.
What to Think About
It sounds obvious, but women
can develop a more secure future and worry less
about running out of money during their retirement
years by becoming much more involved in and
owning their overall financial planning.
And making the right financial planning decisions and
the right Social Security choices are two of the most
important actions a woman can make for her
Important Disclosure Information
The article above was provided to Synovus by eMoney Advisor, LLC, and is used here with permission from eMoney or a third party content provider. eMoney does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. This information was provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
You are about to leave the Synovus web site for a third-party site
Third-party sites aren't under our control, and we are not responsible for any of the content or additional links they contain. We don't endorse to guarantee the goods or information provided by third-party sites, and we're not responsible for any failures or inaccuracies. Third-party sites may contain less security and may have different privacy policies from ours.