Who’s Most Likely to Retire in Poverty?

Women are more likely to work reduced hours, earning less pay. Many spend years raising children instead of working outside the home, and may divorce the primary earner later in life, cutting themselves off from potential retirement benefits.  For unmarried older women over 60, the median income in retirement is just over $6,500 per year in retirement. What can be done?

Experts talk about the “three-legged stool” of retirement income:  A. a defined benefit plan (pension), B. a defined contribution plan (such as a 401k), and C. Social Security benefits.  Having all three “legs” of the stool is best, but unmarried women over 60 are the most likely group to have none of them, studies show.  

Let’s suppose you are nearing retirement.  If you have no pension coming, you can’t do anything about that, but the other two “legs” can be addressed.  While you probably won’t get rich just by saving hard during your last few years, saving some money is far better than none.  (And, if your employer matches retirement contributions, this will be doubled.)  As for Social Security benefits, do try to work long enough to get at least 40 quarters (about ten years) of “substantial earnings,” so as to qualify for some monthly benefits for the rest of your life.  Take steps to be more successful in retirement.

For more information, read Katie Brockman’s article: https://www.fool.com/retirement/2020/01/21/this-group-of-people-is-the-most-at-risk-of-retiri.aspx