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Working with Women

Most of us would agree that a tailored financial strategy that takes into account goals, current situation, and risk tolerance is the ideal way to set yourself up to succeed. But having a personalized game plan is even more essential for women, due to a number of unique challenges they face in their retirement years. 

At Archer Investment Management, we specialize in serving the financial and planning needs of women. We understand the unique challenges they face that can make financial planning more critical than ever for them. 

Let’s take a brief look at some of the obstacles women face: 

1. Life Expectancy

At birth, women are expected to live until 81, and men 76.1  When saving for retirement, those five extra years could make or break your standard of living. But even with the average life expectancy being 81, one in three females could live until 90, while only one in five males will reach that milestone.2 In the past 10 years alone, the U.S. centenarian population has grown 44%. What these numbers tell us is that women need even more resources to carry them through retirement. Women must also plan ahead for the likelihood of outliving their spouse.

2. Health Care Costs

Health care represents one of the largest expenses in retirement, but even more so for females. According to a study conducted by HealthView Services, women can expect to pay over $300,000 in health care costs, compared to the $260,000 average men pay.3 These numbers are for healthy 65-year-olds, so if there are any known health concerns, that number will increase. 

3. Income & Workforce Limitations

Even in 2017, there is still an income disparity between men and women. For every dollar earned by men, women earn $0.81 and average annual Social Security payments are about $4,000 less for women. Since women 80 and older receive an income that is 44% lower than that of men, it’s not surprising that three-quarters of the people in poverty are female.4 The U.S. Department of Labor states that women are twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during the retirement years, and almost three out of four Americans over 65 classified as “poor” are female.5 

Women also spend more time out of the workforce to care for children or other family members. Not only does this impact earning power and Social Security payments, but also participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Females tend to contribute 7% of their income while men contribute 10%.6 Over time, that 3% makes a considerable difference in savings. 

4. Higher Debt Loads

Women may make up 56% of higher-education students, but they hold 65% of the debt. Additionally, research shows that women pay more for the debt that they carry than men, even though they’re less likely to default.7 As women try to pay off their debt, it limits their available assets they could be investing and putting away for retirement.

5. Lack of Planning

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies tells us that only 50% of women have some sort of retirement strategy, but 78% of American workers say they would feel more confident if they had a guaranteed income investment option.8 As women generally take less risk than men, they may struggle more to feel confident in their planning options and, as a result, avoid planning altogether.

How We Can Help

Despite all the obstacles in the way of a successful retirement for women, the future is bright! If you are nearing retirement and are worried about your financial situation, or if you want a second look at your current plan, click here to schedule a phone call.

Social Security Actuarial Life Table, 2016.

Key Findings and Issues. Longevity. Society of Actuaries, June 2012


Elayne Clift. “USA Women Moving Millions”, News Blaze, September 16, 2008.

U.S. Census Bureau, “Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006” 2007.