Top of Mind

Getting to the Bottom of Financial Wellness for Women

The challenges facing women as they strive to achieve financial wellness are unique - and this year’s pandemic has shed even more light on just how important the topic is. In collaboration with my peers at the Retirement Advisor Council, we look to highlight some of the key elements of this important topic in our piece, “Creating More Impactful Financial Wellness Solutions for Women.” While I encourage plan sponsors to take a thorough read through the position paper to fully understand this important topic, here are the key highlights:

  • Women are different — There a number of areas in which women are unique with respect to achieving financial wellness/independence, including:
    • Different pattern of workforce participation
    • Longer life expectancy
    • Differences in pay
    • Greater reliance on Social Security
  • COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on women — This is primarily due to the fact that many jobs held by women are in sectors of the economy hardest hit by the pandemic, but also in part to the impact the pandemic has had on women who are responsible for caregiving
  • Financial wellness programs at work can be quite impactful — According to John Hancock’s sixth annual financial stress survey, 75% of women stated that a financial wellness program at work would reduce their financial stress, compared to 64% of men.
  • Financial wellness/independence programs can be designed to effectively address these issues — While there are unique financial wellness challenges specific to women, the good news is that they can be addressed. A financial wellness/independence program should include the following elements specific to women:
    • Programs to assist with caregiving responsibilities
    • Access to retirement calculators that allow for gaps in one’s work life
    • Education on the financial implications of outliving one’s spouse
    • Optimization of Social Security claiming strategies (these strategies can be complicated for women, particularly those who have experienced a divorce)

As we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic and approach whatever the new “new normal” is, financial wellness/independence programs are critical in helping employees get back on their feet. Be sure to take a deeper dive into the piece here.

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Note: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice. Opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Cammack Retirement Group.

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