How women can conquer the $1 million earnings gap before retirement

Personal finance


Most women would rather talk about their own deaths than money, according to a new study.

And that reluctance is helping to fuel a wealth gap that sets women back into their retirement years, research from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found.

Women are as confident as men when it comes to routine financial tasks such as paying bills, with 90 percent of respondents, and budgeting, 84 percent. But that self-assurance plummets to 52 percent for women when it comes to more complex investing, a 16 percent gap from men, the study found.

That lack of know how can hurt women in the long run and compound some already negative effects on their wealth.

Women typically earn just 82 cents for every dollar a man in a similar job earns, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And they are more likely to take time out of the work force to care for children, parents and their spouses.

Overall, this can add up to a $1.06 million earnings gap when a woman reaches retirement compared to a man who has stayed in the work force. (Chart from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave below.)



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