Women and Financial Security

Five facts and tips to consider when thinking about planning for retirement.

  1. Women tend to make less during their working years. Women generally tend to earn less than men over the course of their careers—even when you take into consideration educational attainment, choice of major and job tenure.1 These and other issues can make the task of saving enough for retirement more challenging.

    Tip: Maximize your chances to save. As a rule of thumb, some experts suggest setting aside 10% to 15% of your pre-tax salary each year toward retirement. Of course, the exact savings target that's right for you should take into consideration your own personal situation, including your current spending and savings levels, risk tolerance, time horizon and the lifestyle you want in retirement. At a minimum, contribute enough to take advantage of any matching contributions available through your workplace retirement plan.

  2. Women tend to live longer than men.2 Longer life expectancy means that you may have more time to enjoy retirement. But here's a catch: Living longer also means that women face a greater chance of outlasting their retirement savings.

    Tip: Boost your sources of income. One way to help cover your basic living expenses throughout retirement is to maximize your sources of recurring income. This includes making smart choices about when to take Social Security. Delaying your payments by even a few years can boost the amount of income you'll receive throughout retirement.3

  3. Employed mothers are far more likely to work part-time than employed fathers.4 Although 401(k) plans are now required to include long-term, part-time workers as a result of the SECURE Act, many women haven’t had access to a retirement plan at work. However, even if your employer doesn’t offer a plan, that shouldn’t stop you from saving for your future.

    Tip: There are no timeouts when saving. Even if you're not eligible to participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you can still sock away up to $6,000 ($7,000, if you're 50 or older) in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).5 If you do not already have an IRA, consider taking advantage of tax-deferred saving with a Mutual of America Traditional IRA, a variable annuity contract. You can also consider a Mutual of America Flexible Premium Annuity (FPA), a variable annuity contract, which allows you to contribute from any source with no limits on your contributions.

  4. Today, women earn college degrees in greater numbers than men.6 Nonetheless, women trail men in financial literacy, according to one report.7

    Tip: Take charge. When it comes to learning how to manage and invest your money, having a support system can be a big confidence builder. Participate with your partner in your family finances, from daily budgeting to long-term planning. If you're single, build a support network to help you make important financial decisions, including family, friends and other trusted individuals. Also, take advantage of our personal, one-on-one assistance and education by speaking with your local Mutual of America representative.

  5. A woman is the primary or co-breadwinner in 4 out of 10 American households with children.8 Yet, women trail men when it comes to feeling confident about their ability to save enough to live comfortably in retirement.9

    Tip: Put yourself first. With all the competing demands on your money, it's easy to put saving for retirement on the back burner. One way to boost your confidence about the future is to make your financial security a priority. Commit to taking a hard look at your income, expenses, savings and long-term goals. Then develop a written plan that can help you save and spend smarter.

If you have questions, and to learn more about your retirement saving options, please call your local Mutual of America representative today.


"The State of the Gender Pay Gap 2020," PayScale, https://www.payscale.com/data/gender-pay-gap.


Social Security Administration, ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html.


Social Security Administration, ssa.gov/planners/retire/delayret.html.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2020, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm.


Internal Revenue Service, irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits.


Pew Research, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/20/u-s-women-near-milestone-in-the-college-educated-labor-force.


Stanford Center on Longevity, October 2018, http://longevity.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Sightlines-Financial-Security-Special-Report-2018.pdf.


Social Security Administration, ssa.gov/people/materials/pdfs/EN-05-10312.pdf.


"2020 Retirement Confidence Survey," Fact Sheet #5, Figure 6, Employee Benefit Research Institute/Greenwald & Associates, April 2020.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the variable annuity contract and the underlying investment funds carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the contract prospectus or brochure and underlying funds prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained by calling 1-800-468-3785 or visiting mutualofamerica.com. Read them carefully before investing.

Mutual of America's group and individual retirement products are variable annuity contracts and are suitable for long-term investing, particularly for retirement savings. The value of a variable annuity contract will fluctuate depending on the performance of the Separate Account investment options you choose. Upon redemption, you could receive more or less than the principal amount invested. A variable annuity contract provides no additional tax-deferred treatment of benefits beyond the treatment provided to any qualified retirement plan or IRA by applicable tax law. You should consider a variable annuity contract's other features before making a decision.

My Account | Mutual of America SponsorConnect® | Careers | Site Map | Help | Mutual of America Mobile
Home | Group Products | Individual Products | Interest Account & Investment Options | Your Retirement Center | About Us | Contact Us
Connect with us: Connect with us on Facebook Connect with us on Twitter Connect with us on LinkedIn Connect with us on YouTube