Did you know that around less than half of working women in the United States invest for their retirement?
In general, the importance of investing for retirement needs to be communicated to more people but, especially women.
Women are more likely to have their career paths impacted when they decide to start a family.
Women either leave the workforce completely or temporarily, obtain jobs with fewer hours or miss out on higher positions with more pay because they are deemed less committed.
This is in addition to the fact that women are paid on average 20% less than their male counterparts.
All of these factors add up to women being like to live in poverty in retirement.
What Stops Women From Investing?
Women are more likely to save than to invest. It is not that the stock market or real estate market is more complicated for women to understand than for men.
It is more the fact that women feel more comfortable putting their money into savings accounts than investing it for fear of losing it from bad decision making.
As a woman, I understand this feeling because I have experienced it first hand. I grew up in poverty so my main focus was on savings.
I wanted to make sure I always had enough cash on hand to cover me in case of an emergency. From there I started building my nest egg to buy a home.
My first home was a multifamily because I wanted to bring in more income.
I am a very risk-averse person so investing money into the stock market before meeting those goals was nerve-racking.
However, I worked in an investment bank and knew that I should at least start investing in my retirement plan even if it was a small amount since my firm matched contributions.
One of the things that would have started on the investment journey faster was understanding that investing doesn't necessarily require large amounts of money.
There are a lot of brokers today that allow you to start investing with as little as $1 or $5. Additionally, if I knew that I could make passive income by buying dividend paying stocks that would helped out more.
Here is an article I wrote on how to do this as a beginner in the stock market.
I could have used the stock market as a tool to help grow my nest egg faster to buy my property sooner.
What can be done?
More can be done to alleviate the fear of investing for women if we help educate and impress upon women the importance of investing.
We must dispel the myth that investing is complicated and risky. There are simple investments that can be had that are low risk but still help grow your money.
Additionally, we need to add to the narrative that saving your money is important by also including that growing your money is important too.
Aggressive growth is not necessary but growth is and can help with the future of women and our country.
We must give women the confidence to talk and learn about money. We all need a seat at the table when it comes to making financial decisions for ourselves and our families.
When women are given the tools to learn more about investing then there will be more balance when it comes to retirement, home ownership, and wages.