By T. Rowe Price, Special for USDR
T. Rowe Price joins the retirement industry in recognizing and celebrating National Retirement Security Week through the release of “Women on Retirement: Stories to Empower,” a seven-part, documentary-style video series created to help women navigate the unique challenges they face when saving for retirement. Women often experience competing priorities and barriers when it comes to their financial future, including lower wages, a longer life expectancy, and fewer years in the workforce compared to their male counterparts. Research from T. Rowe Price supports the idea that there is a retirement savings gap between men and women. Consider:
- Women are saving less than men.
- T. Rowe Price’s 2015 Retirement Spending and Saving study found that millennial women had significantly less money saved in their 401(k)s – a median account balance of $10,600 compared to $22,200 for millennial men.
- Additionally, the study found that women were contributing less of their salaries to their 401(k)s – a median of 5%, compared to 7% for men.
- Women feel less comfortable with money and investing.
- T. Rowe Price’s 2016 Parents, Kids & Money study asked parents how knowledgeable they felt about money and investing. Women were significantly less likely to say they felt knowledgeable about money (67% compared to 78% of men).
- The difference was even more extreme when women were asked about investing, with only 35% of women saying they felt knowledgeable, versus 62% of men.
Through seven short videos, 23 women share their real-life experiences and challenges as well as advice on how women can take control of their finances. Each video is tailored to a specific topic or issue often faced by women, including investing, retirement saving advice for millennials and single women, and how to balance finances when faced with conflicting priorities.
5 STEPS WOMEN CAN TAKE TO CLOSE THE RETIREMENT SAVINGS GAP
Judith Ward, CFP® and senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price, suggests there are five tangible steps women can take to set themselves up for a successful retirement:
- Educate yourself. Be actively involved in your financial future and know what your options are when it comes to saving for retirement. Does your company have a 401(k) plan? Do you know how much you are contributing currently? Talk to other women and see how they are tackling the challenges of spending and saving.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Start an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of expenses so you can handle an unexpected expense without being tempted to tap credit cards or your 401(k). Keep the money in an account where it can be easily accessed.
- Aim to save 15%. T. Rowe Price research shows saving 15% of your annual salary, including any employer match, can help generate a more powerful stream of income in retirement, even after accounting for inflation. For perspective, saving 15% starting at age 30, compared to 10%, can result in an additional $500,000 in your 401(k) account by age 65*. Those who can’t save 15% right now can start lower and increase the amount by 1 or 2% each year.
- Make the most of your 401(k) plan. Benefits such as an employee match program or automated services such as auto-increase, in which an employee’s 401(k) contribution percentage increases every year, can help you get closer to that 15% savings rate. For instance, if you are only saving 6% today, but your employer matches 50% of your contribution, you are at a 9% savings rate. Using an auto-increase feature to increase your savings rate by 1 or 2% each year would get you get to that 15% in just a few years.
- Invest to meet your needs. Your overall asset allocation should be based on your time horizon, or when you plan to retire. If you’re not sure how to choose investments, vehicles like target date funds are designed to provide an appropriate allocation of stocks and bonds and diversification. These investments are a good starting point and you can stay in them for the long term.
Aimee DeCamillo, head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc., adds:
“National Retirement Security Week is an opportunity for companies to evaluate how well they are preparing their employees for retirement. Women in particular have unique challenges that employers can address through plan design and education.”
For more information on saving for retirement, T. Rowe Price provides insights and resources for individuals, plan sponsors, advisors, and institutions:
- For investors, visit troweprice.com/insights.
- For recordkeeping plan sponsors or consultants, visit rps.troweprice.com/planview.
- For financial advisors or intermediaries, visit troweprice.com/marketinsights.
- For institutional investors, visit troweprice.com/institutional.
*All figures assume 7% annualized returns, a $50,000 starting salary at age 30, a 3% annual salary increase, a 4% annual withdrawal rate beginning at age 65, and 3% annual inflation unless noted. Numbers are rounded. For illustrative purposes only and does not represent performance of any particular security. Investment returns will vary and may be higher or lower than in this example.
The principal value of target-date funds is not guaranteed at any time, including at or after the target date, which is the approximate date when investors plan to retire. These funds typically invest in a broad range of underlying mutual funds that include stocks, bonds, and short-term investments and are subject to the risks of different areas of the market. In addition, the objectives of target-date funds typically change over time to become more conservative. All funds are subject to market risk including possible loss of principal.
ABOUT T. ROWE PRICE
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. is a global investment management organization with $776.6 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2016. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. For more information, visit troweprice.com, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
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