Even though the wage gap continues to narrow, it still significantly affects how much women are earning compared to men. In fact, the average woman who works full-time over a 40-year period loses about $435,000 in lifetime income because of gender inequality (Money). This means that, on average, women have less money to support themselves and their families and they’ll have less money saved when it comes time to retire.
This is because Social Security income and pensions are determined by wages. The wider the wage gap, the less financial security women will have later in life when compared to men. And since women tend to live longer than men, they have to find ways to make their retirement funds stretch.
Luckily, people are working to improve the wage gap all over the world through legislation. And while legislation certainly helps, there are things women in the U.S. can do right now to help overcome the wage gap.
1. Negotiate Your Salary Early On
By negotiating pay at the beginning of your career, it won’t be so hard to catch up later on – especially considering most employees use their salary from a preceding job to negotiate a salary for a new job. Before approaching your boss about your salary, arm yourself with facts. Do research on sites like Glassdoor and talk to your colleagues who have similar positions to compare how much others are being paid. This will help present a solid, data-driven case to your company about how much you’re worth.
2. Save as Much as Possible
Another way to overcome the wage gap is by managing your wealth in ways that’ll benefit you in the long run. In general, you should be saving anywhere from 15 to 20% of your income. But if you can save more, especially through IRAs and 401(k)s, you’ll be able to generate more funds in time for retirement.
3. Invest Aggressively
Women aren’t generally known for making aggressive investments, but don’t let that hold you back. Educate yourself about the market and learn how to take calculated risks in order to work towards increasing your chances of success, especially if retirement is still 10 or 15 years away.
4. Delay Retirement
In order to earn the same pay as men, the typical woman has to work 11 years longer. Unfortunately, that’s not the most ideal or realistic situation. But if you can delay your retirement even by a few years, that’s more money you’ll be earning to put toward your retirement.
5. Choose a Financial Advisor that Will Advocate for You
When choosing a financial advisor, make sure it’s someone that understands a woman’s unique situation in the workplace. This will help them structure a plan that manages your wealth and positions you to overcome salary inequalities. With a strong financial advisor, you’ll be able to take those calculated risks, make strategic investments and establish a stable financial future for you and your family.
Start Planning for the Future
The wage gap doesn’t just affect your weekly paycheck. It plays a significant role in your retirement funds and financial security throughout every stage of your life. At HighPoint Advisors, we’ll provide a personalized wealth management plan to help assist you in overcoming any financial inequalities. Discuss your options by contacting us at (315) 627-0474.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.