Women & Finances: Securing Your Retirement
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Strategies to help make sure your retirement savings last for life.

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As a woman, you may be looking forward to spending your time in retirement differently than the men in your life. Statistically, women are more likely to spend time with family, to socialize with friends, to volunteer, or to care for family members than men are. But that may not be the only difference between the sexes when it comes to retirement. Women are twice as likely to say they are concerned about running out of money.1

Not taking your retirement planning seriously may have consequences years or even decades down the road. But you’re not alone in focusing on the now instead of the future: When asked about their financial goals, only 17% of all women say that retirement planning is their top priority.2 The good news is that making a few changes to your financial life today will help ensure that you will be able to do the things you love in retirement—whatever they may be.

The Retirement Paradox

In America, women’s pay persistently lags behind men’s. Today, the typical woman earns 84 cents for every dollar a man makes.3 Women also outlive men. Among today’s 65-year-olds, the average man will live to age 84.3 while women will average 86.7 years.4 That’s at least two and a half more years that women need to plan for, on average.

The fact that women are paid less, but live longer, shows just how important early planning can be. If you aren’t saving already, or if you want to maximize your savings, start with these three steps, then talk with a financial professional about more ways to build your savings and investments:

1. Maximize contributions: The current limit for work-sponsored 401(k) retirement plans is $19,000 per year.5 By contributing to your workplace retirement plan, you also can capture any company matches that may be offered. Personal IRA accounts allow you to contribute up to $6,000 per year.6 And, depending on which accounts you select, these contributions may be made pretax, so they are not included in your gross income.

2. Catch up: If you are closer to retirement, you may be able to save even more tax-deferred money. For those over age 50, you can add $6,000 more annually to your 401(k) and $1,000 more to your IRA.7,8

3. Focus on compounding: Put your savings in accounts where the money will grow on its own each year. Use an account offering high-yield interest, or an annuity that can offer the advantages of principal protection, growth, and tax deferral.

Planning Ahead

63% percent of women say that they cannot focus on their future plans when they have so much on their plates today.9 A trusted financial professional can take some of that planning off your plate, and work with you toward your near-term and future goals—including retirement.


1 “Voices of Experience 2016: Insights on Life and Retirement,” TIAA, 2016.
2 “Women, Investing and the Pursuit of Wealth-Life Balance,” PIMCO, November 2018.
3 “The State of American Wages 2017,” Economic Policy Institute, March 2018.
4 “Benefits Planner | Life Expectancy,” Social Security Administration, accessed February 2019.”
5 “401(k) Plans - Deferrals and matching when compensation exceeds the annual limit,” IRS, last updated November 2018.
6 “IRA FAQs – Contributions,” IRS, last updated November 2018.
7 “401(k) Plans - Deferrals and matching when compensation exceeds the annual limit,” IRS, last updated November 2018.
8 “IRA FAQs – Contributions,” IRS, last updated November 2018.
9 “Women, Investing and the Pursuit of Wealth-Life Balance,” PIMCO, November 2018.

The information above, including the results and explanations generated by the calculator, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Information is based on current laws, which are subject to change at any time. You should consult with their accounting or tax professionals for guidance regarding your specific financial situation.

Amounts withdrawn prior to age 59½ may be subject to federal and/or state income taxes and an additional 10% federal penalty tax may apply.

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products are issued by Pacific Life Insurance Company in all states except New York and in New York by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues.

Pacific Life’s Home Office is located in Newport Beach, CA.


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