Woman sitting on a blanket at the beach looking out onto the water.

Three main barriers preventing women from preparing for retirement

Retirement for women can be challenging. We describe how to overcome common hurdles women face.

Women face unique barriers when it comes to preparing for retirement. From Social Security and social equality to dealing with "mommy taxes" and gender equality, retirement for women comes with a different set of challenges than it does for men. Women often earn less over their careers, which means they need to save more since they tend to live longer.

Here are the three main barriers that often prevent women from being adequately prepared for retirement:

1. Retirement is often a lower priority for women

Women tend to place a lower priority on saving for retirement as they focus primarily on meeting daily living costs and paying off debt. This can sometimes prevent them from even getting started. Additionally, women are more likely than men to leave the workforce to care for children or aging parents. This can mean losing the opportunity to contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, which could lead to a significant savings gap. This highlights how important it is to start saving for retirement as early as possible. However, during those gap years, if you're married and filing jointly, you may still be able to contribute to an individual retirement account (IRA) on the basis of your spouse's earnings through a spousal IRA.

2. Women don't always feel adequately equipped to manage their finances

While women regularly manage day-to-day expenses, they don't always feel adequately equipped when it comes to saving for retirement and often rely on the expertise of others for decision-making. This can prevent women from taking an active role in preparing for retirement and can put them at risk of not saving enough.

3. Women are often hesitant to ask for help with retirement planning

Asking for help with retirement planning can be intimidating, but a willingness to learn from others and search for answers can pay off in the long run. Seeking advice from a trusted professional or a friend can help you gain the knowledge you need to take control of your retirement planning.

Now is a great time to start planning for retirement

It's never too early to start taking an active role in your long-term financial planning. Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek advice – a few simple steps can help you overcome these barriers and take control of your financial future.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Neither State Farm® nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.

Start a quote

Select a product to start a quote.

Find agents near
you or contact us

There’s one ready to offer personalized service to fit your specific needs.

Related articles

What is a spousal IRA?

Learn how you may be able to use a spousal IRA to help save for retirement in the case that you or your spouse may not be earning income or taking time away from work.

Good reasons to keep working after retirement

Sure, you could relax, but working after retirement boosts mental, physical, social and financial fitness.

Retirement advice for Millennials and Gen Xers

You don't have to save like your parents. If you're decades away from post-work years, new approaches can help you gain sought-after financial security.

Facts you need to know about women and retirement

Why retirement planning differs for men and women and how women can narrow the retirement savings gap.