Women think they'll need to work past retirement age. Here's what you can do to catch up.

On this week's BETTER Business, Stephanie Ruhle breaks down the headlines around women and retirement, kids and allowance, and investing your money in companies that do well and do good.
Image: Woman working on laptop
Because women make less than men, they need to work longer just to save the same amount as their male colleagues.mapodile / Getty Images
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By Julie Brown

This is BETTER Business, a new personal finance segment hosted by Stephanie Ruhle. Each week, Stephanie breaks down the financial headlines and zeroes in on how they'll affect your wallet, along with compelling conversations with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and people who've cracked their own personal money codes.

This week's business headlines — and why they matter

PAY INEQUALITY: This week marks the deadline for employers to begin reporting pay for women and minorities.

  • Why it matters: You can’t fix a problem without knowing how bad it really is. If we’re ever going to truly eradicate pay inequality based on gender or ethnicity, it helps to have data showing it actually exists.

MANUFACTURING TROUBLE: The stock market may be performing well, but the U.S. manufacturing industry has officially contracted to its worst level in a decade.

  • Why it matters: Markets and economy are not the same thing. Yes, markets are up — and that is a good thing — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take other factors, like domestic manufacturing, into consideration when evaluating the health of our economy.

KIDS & ALLOWANCE: Children receive $1,500 per year in allowance — it’s never too early to teach them how to save it.

  • Why it matters: A new telephone survey conducted by American Institute of CPAs found that only 3 percent of kids save their allowance cash, according to their parents. Don’t miss out on an early opportunity to teach your child the importance of earning — and saving — their money.

How to invest with a conscience

Stephanie Ruhle sits down with Bank of America’s Head of US Equity Strategy, Savita Subramanian to talk about investing with a conscience. ESG factors refer to environmental, societal and governance metrics companies can be evaluated on: How large is the organization’s carbon footprint? Do they have a diverse board? Investors are now factoring in more than just the bottom line, taking business practices into account when deciding to purchase stock — or not. But does a company’s commitment to ESG factors actually make for BETTER Business? Watch:

Women think they'll need to work longer to retire. Here' s what you need to know.

Results of a new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that a majority of women anticipate they’ll be working well into retirement years: 54 percent expect to work past the age of 62. That’s up six percentage points from just last year. Some women — more than one third surveyed — even think they’ll remain in the workforce past their 67th birthdays.

Why is this happening?

  • Retirement is not always an option: Though it shouldn’t be, retirement is a luxury. Not everyone can afford to exit the workforce — many men and women rely on their paychecks for their every day living expenses.
  • For some, it is a choice: Many who work in professional roles — take lawyers, doctors, or professors for example — may opt in and keep working into their retirement years, often out of love for their jobs. They may even feel a sense of purpose and duty to help others.
  • Women typically save more for retirement: The average single woman saves around $150,000 for retirement. That’s roughly $15,000 more than their male counterparts. More savings means more time in the workforce.
  • But it takes them longer to save that dough: Not only are women saving more for retirement, but they’re simultaneously earning less than their male peers: 82 cents on their dollar to be exact. At this rate, women need to work longer just to save the same amount as their male colleagues.

How can you prepare for retirement more efficiently?

  • Talk salary with your co-workers: It may not always be the most comfortable conversation, but it’s important to talk about your salary with coworkers in order to understand what those around you are earning for the same work. Wouldn’t you rather have an awkward conversation than be underpaid? And who knows — it could shave a couple years off your career.
  • Speak up: If you feel you deserve it, don’t hesitate to request that raise! Be your own advocate — it never hurts to ask.
  • Cut back on the nonessentials: Whether that means walking instead of taking an Uber, or packing lunch, small scale backs can make a huge difference.
  • Capitalize on free capital: Make sure you are taking full advantage of your employer’s 401k matching. That’s free money!

NEXT: How to recession-proof your finances

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