The gender pay gap is still prevalent and remains to be a hot topic. It can have significant long-term effects on retirement planning, but there are steps you can take to lessen the impact.
- Have confidence in knowing your value: Research the market value of your skills and experience to ensure you’re being compensated fairly. There are websites (Glassdoor or Payscale for example) that can provide salary ranges for specific positions and industries within various geographic locations. Use this information to negotiate your salary effectively.
- Negotiate your salary: Negotiate your salary to ensure you’re being paid fairly. Be prepared, confident, and highlight your achievements and contributions. Consider practicing negotiation techniques beforehand to improve your skills.
- Invest in education and professional development: Continuously invest in your skills and education to enhance your value in the job market. This can include attending workshops, conferences, or pursuing advanced degrees. Acquiring additional qualifications can position you for higher-paying roles and give you the confidence to effectively negotiate your salary.
- Strategically save and invest: Regardless of the pay gap, saving and investing wisely are crucial for retirement planning. Create a budget, track your expenses, and identify areas where you can cut back and save more. Contribute to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, or other investment vehicles available to you. Consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor to maximize your savings.
- Maximize employee benefits: Take advantage of retirement benefits provided by your employer. This can come in the form of matching contributions to retirement accounts. Contribute what your budget allows but aim for at least the maximum match. This is an easy way to maximize your savings by having your employer contribute for you.
- Network and mentor: Build a strong professional network and seek out mentors who can offer guidance and support throughout your career. Networking can provide opportunities for job advancements, promotions, and potentially bridge the gender pay gap.
- Advocate for equal pay: Get involved in initiatives and organizations that support gender equality and equal pay. By raising awareness and advocating for change, you can contribute to creating a fairer working environment for everyone.
Remember, addressing the gender pay gap requires both individual actions and systemic changes. By taking these steps, you can empower yourself financially and work towards a secure retirement, even in the face of pay disparities.
At Copper Leaf Financial we understand the unique financial challenges that women face as they look towards retirement and we work with many women to develop a personal, evolving financial plan for the long-term. Call us today at (802) 878-2731 to schedule a complimentary strategy session.
Written by Breanna Sykes, CFP®, Copper Leaf Financial Wealth Advisor