Certain financial decisions may help a woman grow and sustain her retirement assets across the decades to make up for time out of the workforce and the prevalent earnings gender gap. One fundamental decision would be to start saving and investing for retirement as early as possible—but other, sometimes underrecognized choices may also allow a woman to make financial progress.
For example, stay-at-home moms and caregivers who are joint filers can consider a spousal IRA strategy if they do not have earned income this year. They can ask their spouse to contribute up to $6,000 to their Roth or traditional IRA in their name in 2019 (up to $7,000 if they are 50 or older). This way, one spouse can make an IRA contribution on behalf of the spouse who is not working. (The working spouse’s 2019 income must be at least as much as the total IRA contributions made on behalf of both spouses.)
Negotiating a higher salary becomes important, as more income should correlate to more retirement saving potential for a woman. Additionally, if a woman is retiring without a pension, but her spouse has one, perhaps a survivor benefit could be arranged should her spouse pass away first.[1,2]
Fighting Food Insecurity
Nearly 5 million American seniors cannot regularly go out and get the nutritious food they need to stay active and healthy. This inability may have to do with a lack of money, a lack of access, or a lack of awareness.
This problem is called “food insecurity,” and it is no small social issue. Nor is it one only poor seniors face. A report by nonprofit food bank network Feeding America estimates that 20% of older adults who are above the poverty line risk eating inadequately as well.
If poverty alone caused food insecurity, a social remedy might be fairly simple. Other factors come into play, though: High health care costs that crimp senior household budgets, prioritizing caregiving duties at the expense of self-care, and simple pride that makes older adults shun food assistance programs in their communities. As Next Avenue reports, only 45% of seniors eligible for SNAP benefits choose to receive them.
The U.S. Administration for Community Living and private-sector agencies have awarded several million in grants to nonprofits in urban centers and rural areas to address this problem. If you think a friend, neighbor, or loved one might be coping with food insecurity, contact the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116.
On the Bright Side
Seventy-five percent of baby boomers polled for a new retirement preparedness study, conducted on behalf of Retirement Living, thought they would have enough money to live comfortably in their second act after their careers ended.
Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Lighthouse Financial, LLC., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Lighthouse Financial, LLC., are not affiliated.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.
1 – investopedia.com/terms/s/spousal-ira.asp [11/21/18]
2 – kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T047-C034-S002-retirement-tips-for-a-long-lifetime.html [1/31/19]
3 – nextavenue.org/older-americans-food-insecure/ [1/31/19]
4 – mentalfloss.com/amazingfactgenerator/554068/1920s-and-30s-many-movie-theaters-had-signs-instructing-ladies-please-remove-your-hats [1/9/19]
5 – planadviser.com/boomers-far-confident-retirement-gen-xers/ [1/23/19]