Gender pay gap leaves female expats short of retirement cash

Published:  2 Nov at 6 PM
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Women planning for an expat retirement need to pay more attention to saving rather than spending.

It’s a sad fact that, on average, women’s retirement savings are far less than the amounts squirreled away by men looking towards a comfortable life either in the home country or as an expat retiree overseas. Basically, the pension pot amassed by the average woman by the age of 65 totals around £35,800, whilst that of her male counterpart is at least five times larger.

Taking into account the fact that women live far longer than men and now have better education and career opportunities than in the past, the gender pay gap still prevents women from saving enough for a prolonged retirement. The sum of £35,800 is clearly only a fraction of what’s really needed to fund some 15 to 20 years of comfortable retirement, even if emigration to a cheaper destination overseas is taken into account.

According to CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute Sian Fisher, the lives of women and their freedoms have changed in a positive manner, but society’s expectations as regards the role of women in business most definitely remain the same. Fisher believes women’s seriously financially disadvantaged position in old age isn’t down to a single factor, but to a combination of financial, societal and health factors which remain stacked against them. Women are living far longer, she says, but care at the end of their lives costs more than that of their male equivalents.

The gender pay gap may well be slowly closing but, for successful women professionals, even a few years off work caring for young children wipes a considerable amount from final salary and work-related pensions as well as curbing the chance to keep saving. The combination of all the above factors is that women are being driven towards poverty in old age, simply because they’re female and attract certain preconceptions of their role in society.

In two years from now, some 12 million Britons will be over the state pension age, with the total comprising a million more females than males. For these women, talk of financial planning is too late and was almost certainly too little during their business lives. Unfortunately, as a result of the ever-increasing number of scams and downright fraudulent operations carried out by IFAs both in the UK and overseas, trust in financial advisers and insurers is now at an all time low, leaving women who’re serious about planning for their retirements with few options.
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