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Why Female Baby Boomers Aren’t Retiring Yet

November 20, 2016

InfographicRetirement concerns have many female baby boomers working longer than planned, according to a new study.

Research from the Pew Research Center found that 6 in 10 boomer women who work full time are rethinking when they plan to retire, compared to slightly less than half of boomer men. Experts say it’s because many women’s nest eggs aren’t as full as they should be.

According to a Go Banking Rates survey, women are 27 percent more likely than men to say they have no retirement savings. Fully two-thirds (63 percent) have either no savings or less than $10,000, compared to just over half (52 percent) of men who say the same. Men are twice as likely as women to have savings balances of $200,000 or more.

Women have had a harder time saving for retirement for several reasons. For one, female employees continue to earn less than their male counterparts. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau found that women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn in full-time positions. Women also tend to have gaps in employment, due to childbirth or care giving, when they may not be contributing to their retirement funds. Additionally, women often live longer than men, requiring larger nest eggs to cover additional years and higher health care costs.

The good news: There are steps boomer women can take to boost their retirement security. Experts say working longer can be a good start, but women over 50 can also take advantage of catch-up contributions to their 401(k)s and IRAs. Diversifying investments, downsizing their homes, and sitting down with a financial planner can also help.