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Assume that you will live five years longer than a man who is the same age as you are. And you will need, say $30,000 annually upon retirement. Computing that amount of money for five years, that will give you additional $150,000 need for income when you retire. That is too much considering that women today earn a bit lower than men. Although under the Social Security program differences in men and women treatment are nonexistent, the differences in work patterns and job opportunity that men and women receive have considerable effect on the benefits that they will receive.

As a woman, you will need to put in a lot more effort to enjoy a financially secured retirement. This maybe due to several factors that includes longevity concerns and wage issues. On an average, women live longer than men by six years. So if the trend today concerns women marrying men older than they are, by the time they are eighty-five most women are already living on their own. Additionally, the differences in wage rates between men and women are too complicated to explain and cannot be completely explained by scientific study.

The income factor can significantly impact the lifestyle a woman will have upon retirement. Simply put, a lower income will result in lower income benefits. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of National Affairs on an average women leave or change jobs every 4.8 years and take off an average of 11.5 years away from the workforce. You will probably wonder why women tend to leave in and out of the workforce. The answer is simple. They do it for their kids, take time off to raise their families and do it for their aging parents. So as long as women are responsible for child rearing and family care, some discrepancy is likely to remain.

Thus, as a woman, to ensure that you will enjoy a worry free retirement there are steps you can do right now.

• Get in touch with Social Security to ensure that your earnings record are correct know how much benefit you will receive at retirement.
• Work closely with your husband to make sure that your financial arrangements are secured as it is more likely that you will outlive him.
• If you tend to change jobs frequently, consider reducing it. Remember that you will build up a lot more income and pay more contribution with Social Security if you stay in one place.

The factors mentioned earlier will very likely have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle and standard of living in your senior years. It doesn't matter whether you are married or single; whether you are young and just starting out or so close to retirement. You will be the one to decide on your level of financial security in retirement. So take charge of your future and make sound decisions now.
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