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Women struggle to retire as early or as securely as men

By: Natasha Archary

women struggle to retire
Image: Alexander Grey Unsplash

Women struggle to retire as early or as securely as men, according to a recent study by Sanlam which shows that the gender disparities with incomes extends far beyond pay gaps.

Farzana Botha, Segment Manager at Sanlam Risk and Savings, joins Gugulethu Mfuphi on Kaya Biz, sharing that more women cannot afford to retire as early or as comfortably as men.

“One of the factors is that women, statistically live longer than men, and we’re already seeing an earning gap, then women are unable to make proper provision towards their retirement.

Also, if women are living longer, then they need to account for living expenses and are unlikely to make sufficient savings for longevity risk.

It’s a cyclic problem, we’re not earning enough, we’re not able to put away enough, and consequently, we’re living too long and do not have sufficient means.”

Farzana Botha – Segment Manager at Sanlam Risk and Savings

Botha says longevity literacy is critical to help women live confidently and securely when it comes to their retirement years.

Apart from the yawning pay gap, the gender pension gap sits at 26%, reflecting the average difference in retirement income between men and women.

Botha tells Gugulethu that women need to be empowered to control what they can, including stretching their retirement incomes for longer and preparing for higher healthcare costs.

“We need to reframe retirement to be more personal and less rigid and conventional.

The wind-down years offer incredible opportunities to pursue new careers, travel and passion projects, spend time with loved ones, and impact one’s community in a lasting way.

In fact, 33% of women view retirement as an opportunity to start a second, gentler career. That’s what we need to empower women to focus on. Then it’s about building real roadmaps to achieve the requisite financial freedom to reach these goals.”

Listen to the conversation on Kaya Biz:

Also read: Study by Just Share highlights SA’s yawning pay gap

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Written by: Natasha



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