At age 65 or older, 95 percent of men and women have married at least once; however, at these older ages, three times as many women (41%) as men (13%) are widowed. Women who live alone have the lowest median income of any type of household. In 2009, among those 65 and older, 44 percent of women were married, compared to 74 percent of men. As marital status does impact median income, particularly in those amongst the over 65 age group, we can see why retirement planning is especially important for women.

11. Statistics Canada, “Occupation - National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 (693A), Highest Certificate, Diploma or Degree (15), Labour Force Status (3), Age (13A) and Sex (3) for the Labour Force Aged 15 Years and Over in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data,” 2016 Census (2017). 

Top GWI Takeaway: “In investment banking, they’re always making DCF models. I’ve always wondered, ‘What does this stand for? What are they doing?’ While we were here we worked in Excel and found out about DCF. DCF stands for Discounted Cash Flow [and is a valuation method used to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.] I saw [company] income statement, balance sheet, working capital, cash flows; these are all different sheets within Excel that you bring together to create the DCF. I also saw how it intertwined with finding the value of a company, because you have to account for inflation and how much a company would be worth in five years.”
But rather than pitch men and women and their typical respective styles against each other, we might look to the success of diverse teams across the business world for a far more productive use of this information. A widely circulated study undertaken by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability. And in February this year, it was discovered that funds managed by mixed gender teams attracted 6 percent more inflows than those run solely by men or women over three years. Diversity, it’s clear, is good for business.
She isn’t alone in putting financial planning on the back burner. According to the 2014 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study, the number one roadblock for people who think their planning could use improvement is a lack of time. Other studies show that many American women share this “head-in-the-sand” approach to long-term planning. But that strategy won’t work, according to Rebecca Bast, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual; not if women are to enjoy the financial security they deserve.
Positive intent can be a powerful motivating force for change and growth in our lives, but the truth is that it’s often not enough—this is the reason why the majority of us fail to completely commit and follow through on the resolutions we make each year. The truth is, most resolutions flounder in the starting gate without any real forward progress ever being made, and many others are met with a feeble, half-hearted effort that eventually goes nowhere. We need more than a positive attitude and hope—we need a plan.
Imagine how much easier it would be to manage your finances if change were not an ever-present dynamic. Of course, change is a fact of life – and life would be pretty boring without it! But change can certainly make long-term financial management difficult. Without insight into the future and what might transpire, planning presents plenty of challenges.
While it is naïve to think that complete gender equality on Wall Street would happen overnight, the bottom line is that women, who have largely stood at the sidelines of investment banking, have potential for being successful in the field and investment banks are increasingly looking to tap that potential. Or to quote the great Bob Dylan, the times, they are a-changin’.

“We were then left with a chunk of that cash plus some Unilever share options. That’s the point where Jennie really wasn’t interested,” says Mr Byrne. Initially he invested in a low-cost “tracker” fund that simply mirrored the performance of the FTSE 100 index, but after building up his confidence he put money in funds run by professional managers, which have delivered better returns.
Hey, you may say, all money is green, right? Maybe we just need to ignore the old-boys’ game and go with the most talented “stock picker” we can find — one with, say, a five-year history of success? Well, that’s the thing. Playing “beat the market” and “pick the winner” doesn’t work so well. It just doesn’t. Less than 0.1% of “active” fund managers were able to do it over a five-year period.
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But surveys also show that men are more likely to treat investing as an end in itself. In other words, men pitch themselves against the market, and consider outperforming the market to represent success. Women, in contrast, tend to see their investing as a means to an end -- a way of accumulating enough money to, for example, buy a house or retire early. A corollary is that, rather than focus solely on commercial gains, more women look for businesses that have a social purpose or are at least sustainable. This is true for all kinds of investments: according to UBS, 88 percent of women want to invest in organizations that "promote social well-being."
Of course, this means that women face greater expenses than men. At one end of the spectrum, they will need to meet their basic necessities for more years; this includes rent, utilities food and all the other little expenses that occur each month. At the other end of the spectrum are the big ticket items like healthcare; since the average woman will be elderly for longer than the average man, women are likely to face higher healthcare costs. These costs can include items such as insurance, medicine, hospitalization, surgery and long-term care.
Focusing on the goal is smart because it forces you to consider your personal needs rather than some arbitrary measure of success. “It’s not that women aren’t concerned about getting a great return,” says Zaneilia Harris, a certified financial planner and president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management, in Upper Marlboro, Md. “But they don’t care what their friends are doing; it’s all about their individual goals.”

MS. SMITH: Great. Josefina Urzaiz, we have Nigest Haile, who is the founder and executive director of the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment, and also Jill Calabrese Bain from Bank of America. Thank you all very much. [Applause] Next up, why partnering is good for women and good for the world, but first please take a moment and watch this next video.

You have to be maxing out your retirement contributions and be on track to replace at least 70% of your income at retirement. Why? Three reasons: 1. So you get the maximum tax advantage, 2. so you save as much as you can for retirement every year, and 3. so you are confident that your retirement savings are on track to give you a “comfortable and content” retirement. (Find out how we define “comfortable and content” here.)


As I stated in my previous comment, I truly believe that the cultural scars and its consequent lack of representativity is the biggest cause of the few women acting in this kind of competition and going tho this area in the university. Problems like the time some girls have to spend cleaning the house because their parents say they must do it exists of course. But as I already said (previous comment) I myself, a boy, have obligations that spend some of my time, which I could use to study even more (of course, I do this by my own will, but see: in the case of selfish parents that really do care more about if the house is clean of not than if their daughter has good grades or a medal in an olympiad, I think they would prefer to show of themselves due to their daughter award. Anyway, actually they, fortunately, are not majority). Other way to conclude that the problem is in this area (STEM and similar) and not in the girls or their condition is to see that in fact there are many girls having excellent grades and getting into great universities. I’m currently trying to apply to good universities abroad and many of the exemples I have (and follow) of people who did it and got extraordinary results are women (actually, I think that the best results I know are of girls). But many of them simply do not chose this area. And so I think that we can blame this lack of representativity, which comes from a long time ago but is being grativaly erased by groups like “Olympic Girls” and “Girls Who Invest”.

The lack of confidence carries a big cost. For instance, more young women than young men defer retirement planning in their 20s, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. They take Social Security early, cutting their lifetime benefits. And financial advisors have long noted that wives often defer to their husbands, even though research shows that generally speaking, women are better investors than men.

2. Make “friends” with risk. Women prefer to preserve wealth even if it means giving up higher returns. Take a 51-year-old attorney (who preferred not to give her name) as an example; she has consistently contributed the maximum allowed by her law firm’s retirement plan. “I know I should be investing in stocks, but I don’t want a repeat of 2008. My money is parked in a money market fund, where I know it’s safe.”
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