According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the proportion of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to top 20% by the year 2050. That means 20% of the population will likely be retired at that point. Or, that would be the case if they were able to start saving up for retirement today.
Unfortunately, almost half of millennial women are not currently saving for retirement. This is not because of the stereotypical “free-spirited” lifestyle of the 21st century 20-something. No, most millennials are not just blowing their money on music festival passes and dream-catcher tattoos. Believe it or not, the gender wage gap is alive and well in the U.S., affecting the present and future wellbeing of young women across the country.
It’s simple — lower pay means less money to put away for the future. A recent Wells Fargo survey of over 1,000 people between the ages of 22 and 35 revealed that 44% of women are not currently saving for retirement at all because their finances are stretched too thin. In direct correlation, the survey showed that on average, millennial women earn about 74% of what millennial men do.
Statistics show that millennial women are making over $10,000 less per year than millennial men. The median personal income for millennial women is $28,800 while the median for men is $39,100. This is a staggering disparity that demonstrates just how severe the wage gap has become.
Not only does the wage gap affect how millennial women live their lives today, but it also indicates more difficulties for these women in the future. Financial experts insist that people should be saving for retirement early on or risk losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time they retire.
Sure, it’s important to save for the future, but how can young women be expected to live independently now, especially with the cost of living on the rise?