20 Essential Tips to Help Women Boost Income for Retirement

Women should do everything in their power to increase their financial savviness, especially as it relates to retirement income planning. There are plenty of studies out there that indicate women will need more money than men in order to ensure a financially secure retirement due to a number of social economic factors.

According to the Social Security Administration , a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live on average, until age 84.3; and a women turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.6. And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year olds today will live page age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.

Yikes! That’s a long life to support financially.

So here are the challenges…..

Challenge #1: Since women outlive men, there is a good chance that their male counterparts could possibly run through a portion of the family assets (retirement savings) due to medical needs before they die, leaving the woman with less to live on.

Challenge #2: Women tend to retire with less in savings due to the time spent out the work force while caring for others (children or aging parents).

Challenge #3: For the most part, women still make less than men do working in the same occupation, therefore they contribute less to retirement savings.

So, what is a woman to do?

Here are my top 20 tips for women to ensure that they will have enough money to last throughout their retirement years.

  • Increase contributions to retirement accounts annually
  • Work longer and retire at a later date
  • Save in a tax-deferred annuity that provides a guaranteed stream of income for life
  • Take advantage of additional savings with an IRA
  • Reduce anticipated retirement expenses
  • Wait until age 70 to take Social Security benefits
  • Inquire about additional Social Security benefits that may be available to you such as spousal, widow or ex-spousal benefits
  • Contribute to get the match on your company 401K
  • Open a Health Savings Account to take advantage of the tax-free savings aspect, if you qualify
  • Open a {tax-free} Roth retirement account, if you qualify
  • Consider opening a self-directed IRA, which will allow you to invest in real estate, private money lending and tax lien certificates (with some restrictions)
  • Put any salary increases or bonuses into savings designated for retirement
  • Start a side business and save the entire revenue generated into an account designated for retirement
  • When over age 50, take advantage of the additional catch-up provision
  • Deposit any tax refunds into a retirement account
  • Accelerate the payoff of any debt you have, so you can 1) save on the interest, and 2) put the money you were paying toward debt in an account designated for retirement
  • Sell off valuable assets and deposit the proceeds into an account designated for retirement
  • Be relentless in reducing the money leaks in your current budget and stash the savings in an account designated for retirement
  • Diversify your retirement savings accounts so that a portion of your retirement income is tax-free
  • Save as much as you can, increasing your savings as you get closer to retirement age by taking advantage of all retirement savings account options that are available to you (This will be different for everyone, depending on your situation. See a qualified tax professional.)
  • Here’s a BONUS TIP for you my dear:

    Don’t guess how much you need to be saving for retirement. Run the numbers on a retirement calculator. Here’s a good basic retirement income calculator from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Use it to get a general idea of what you should be saving for retirement.