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Women have to save 20% more than men for retirement

Susannah Lee

The three of the world's most important financial jobs right now are held by - women. The impressive triumvirate includes Janet Yellen, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Christine Lagarde, who runs the IMF. And German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

But when it comes to our personal finances, too few women are taking control - so says David Bach vice chairman of Edelman Financial Services and the New York Times best selling author of "Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams."

Bach says it’s not because women are lacking control over their personal finances while making great strides professionally. Instead, he refers to “core issues that affect them personally” – mostly do to the fact women live longer than men.

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Women “live an average of 20% longer than the man in their life…that means their retirement could be a third longer than his,” states Bach. He also warns that taking care of the man-in-their-life’s medical needs often takes a toll on the family’s financial well-being.

What’s unfair in life does not mean it’s not reality for some women. Tasks including bearing and raising children can lead to women working “fewer years and they still earn less dollar per dollar than men,” noted Bach.

Working less and earning less means less money in women’s retirement accounts and social security. Despite women having to save more than their male counterparts, Bach is optimistic - “it happens to be that women are saving more money than men right now in 401k plans.”

Bach advises, “the key thing in your 50’s is get your financial plan done. In the next 10 years, you've really got to maximize your retirement accounts…investing as hard and as fast as you can.”

Long-term care is an area women should consider according to Bach, “especially since they live longer.”

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