Women save less for retirement than they need to save, according to a study just released by Hewitt Associates. The study said that women need to replace 130 percent of their final income at retirement, 7 percentage points higher than men. Women need to save 2 percent more of their pay per year over 30 years to achieve the same standard of living as a man, according to Hewitt.

So why are women behind?
– They make less and live longer.
– They invest less assertively.
– They delay saving for retirement and have spotty saving patterns.

What can women do to save more?
– Invest earlier and at a more vigorous rate.
– Retire later.
– Seek out financial advice. Many companies offer advice on how to invest your 401(k) money. You can always start out by reading books on investing.
– Don’t cash money out of a 401(k) plan when you leave a company.

Hewitt studied projected retirement of nearly 2 million employees at 72 large U.S. companies. If you can imagine this is what is happening at large companies – what’s going on at smaller companies or for women who stay at home? Some companies don’t offer retirement plans. It’s time women took care of themselves and not put everyone else first. Social Security may run out of money before current 30-somethings retire. Marriages break up, children grow up and parents age. It is possible to set some money aside for yourself even when you’re taking care of others.

July 9, 2008