As the golden years approach for boomers, many are finding that they don't have enough money saved to fund their retirement. The problem disproportionately affects women who don’t match up to the savings that men have. The new revelations are based on a report by the US Census Bureau that was released last week.
According to the report, around 50% of women aged between the ages of 55 and 66 have zero personal retirement savings. On the other hand, 47% of men find themselves in the same category, faring better compared to women. The report also found some correlation between marriage and retirement savings. The data shows that at least 35% of people who were married once do not have any retirement savings.
However, 60% of people who have never married appear to have the savings needed to get by. It is also interesting to note there is a huge gender disparity in the total amount of money saved.
For women, the average amount of money saved is $10,000 while men have ten times that at $100,000. The lack of savings has largely been blamed on a growing debt load that many boomers have had to deal with in their lives. There has also been less social security during this era.
For women, it can also be argued that the long-term effects of gender-based wage gaps may have affected how much women can save. The lack of retirement money is one of the key indicators of the financial problems that many boomers are dealing with. The generation is also facing ballooning debt problems. The report by the Census Bureau shows that on average, a typical boomer household has a debt of around $28,000.
When you consider that they also don’t have that much saved into retirement, it would be impossible for them to in the future pay off these debts once they stop working. Besides, boomers are also massively unprepared for health emergencies. According to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old woman who retired in 2019 will need at least $150,000 in healthcare.
A man in the same category will need around $135,000. This is huge compared to the actual amount that both men and women boomers have in retirement savings. The wage gap between men and women appears to also be well reflected in these retirement numbers. And it’s not just the gender-based wage gap. Even racial gaps in take-home pay are showing as far as retirement savings are concerned.
For example, black men in the US are paid $0.71 for every dollar paid to white people. Black women, on the other hand, are even worse off. Research shows that it can take a black woman 19 months to earn what a white male earns in a year.
With these numbers, it is no wonder retirement savings among black men and women are lower compared to white men. This retirement unpreparedness could become even worse when you consider how in recent years the US government has been cutting social security spending.