On March 8, International Women’s Day is observed, with events celebrating women’s social, political and cultural progress. Yet, women still face serious economic challenges. How will you cope with them?
Many factors put more economic pressure on women, but two stand out. First, women still face a gender pay gap, earning about 80% of what their male counterparts receive, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Second, women typically take far more time out of the workforce, first to care for children and later to care for elderly parents. This lost time can result in lost wages, lower Social Security benefits and fewer contributions to retirement plans.
So, to help counter these forces, you need to take action. Try to put as much as you can afford into your 401(k) or similar retirement plan, and boost your contributions whenever you get a raise. Also, make sure your retirement plan contains a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented investments.
As a society, we’re still working toward economic equality. But as a woman, you can’t afford to wait, so be proactive in seeking financial security.