Women tend to live longer, be paid less and have more time out of the workforce — all creating a wealth gap. What’s one thing you’d advise women to do to bridge it?

Perspective Banking

 

Women tend to live longer, be paid less and have more time out of the workforce — all creating a wealth gap. What’s one thing you’d advise women to do to bridge it?

 

Perspective Banking Harrietbrackey

Harriet Brackey, CFP®
VP, Portfolio Manager

IBERIABANK | First Horizon
Don’t take Social Security early! It’s tempting, but doing so reduces the benefit significantly. If you delay until age 70, the benefit increases by 8% every year. Second, to offset women’s generally lower wages or the loss of income during the child-rearing years, you could become a super saver later in life, when you are at your highest earning years. Sweep everything that you used to spend on kids, college education and the like, into your savings for three to five years and it will make a big impact. Third, consider stepping into retirement, instead of jumping off a cliff. Maybe work part-time for a few years. This could help you to leave your savings alone and let that retirement account grow.

 

Perspective Banking Tammyoshea

Tammy O’Shea
Chief Marketing Officer
Fidelity Bank
The one thing I would advise is to start saving early. Working for a company that has a qualified 401k plan and company match has many advantages. Strive to always put enough in your account to get the matching dollars. Your goal should be to contribute the maximum dollars allowed, but if you can’t do that start small and increase your contribution each year. If you’re over 50, it’s not too late! Take advantage of catch-up contribution options.

 

Perspective Banking Shelleysanders

Shelley Sanders
Pres. & CEO

GNO Federal Credit Union
While it is a bit difficult to narrow this down to merely one single piece of advice, my answer is ownership. Women need to take ownership of every decision they make regarding their personal and professional lives. We need to repeatedly tell ourselves that we can do the hard things, including taking ownership of our career paths by focusing on our professional development. Taking ownership means being the leader we wish we had, knowing that leadership is not about title or position. Finally, we need to know our value and advocate for ourselves. Women are so good at advocating for others, but we tend to shy away from asking for that raise or that promotion. Take ownership by researching pay, benefits and experience level of similarly situated positions in your field, advocate based on this knowledge, be willing to take a risk and make a move if necessary.

 

Perspective Banking Jillnalty

Jill Knight Nalty
Business Development Officer – New Orleans

Argent Trust Company
Women have been driving change in the workplace, earn more money than ever before, and more college and graduate degrees than men. We make up half of the workforce and are closing the gap in middle management, but there is still work to do. A lack of confidence is often what holds women back at their companies. Speak up, educate yourself and be confident in your skills. Break the taboo around money talk. Make money a more common conversation; a great place to start is talking about retirement: “Am I saving the assets I need to produce the income I want in retirement?”

 

Perspective Banking Sarahbomhoff

Sarah E. Bomhoff
Investment Strategist

Thirty North.
Pay yourself first. The sooner money is invested, the longer it has to accumulate. As long as your monthly bills are manageable, the principle of “paying yourself first” encourages using anything extra to maximize your retirement or other long-term savings before considering prepaying loan principle, especially on long-term, low-interest-rate debt. Prepaying your mortgage or other long-term debt is tempting, but doing so at the cost of your own retirement savings means your debt can actually set you further back than just the amount you owe.