1010 B Street,
February 20, 2019
Certain financial decisions may help a woman grow and sustain her retirement assets across the decades to make up for time out of the workforce and the prevalent earnings gender gap. Obviously, one fundamental move would be to start saving and investing for retirement as early as possible – but other, sometimes underrecognized choices may also allow a woman to make more financial progress.
For example, stay-at-home moms and caregivers who are joint filers can consider a spousal IRA strategy if they do not have earned income this year. They can ask their spouse to contribute up to $6,000 to their Roth or traditional IRA in their name in 2019 (up to $7,000 if they are 50 or older). This way, one spouse can make an IRA contribution on behalf of the spouse who is not working. (The working spouse’s 2019 income must be at least as much as the total IRA contributions made on behalf of both spouses.) Negotiating a higher salary becomes important, as more income should correlate to more retirement saving potential for a woman. Additionally, if a woman is retiring without a pension, but her spouse is, perhaps a survivor benefit could be arranged should her spouse pass away first.1,2