Women in high-paying jobs have it better than their sisters in low-paying jobs, but that’s not going to help them be as well prepared by retirement as men in high-paying jobs.
In fact, they’ll be trailing their male counterparts by a whopping 38 percent.
The Independent reports on a new study from UBS Wealth Management, which says that not only do women in those highly paid jobs make $800,000 less than their male colleagues in comparably paying jobs over their lifetime, but they’ll on average be 38 percent poorer than their male colleagues when they reach old age.
The study “How women can best protect and grow their wealth” finds that the average 25-year-old woman living in a developed country currently earns 10 percent less than a man of the same age.
And, when gaps in employment are taken into account—as women care for children and aging parents—by the time they’re 85, women will have 43 percent less wealth than men.
Looking specifically at high-earning workers, using hypothetical people who fit the client profile of the bank’s wealth management unit, researchers assume that “Jane” and “Joe,” both 25, have inherited $1 million at age 24 and have starting salaries of $100,000 and $110,000, respectively. Salary differences reflect the gender pay gap, which grows over time, with “Jane” earning $800,000 less than “Joe” over her lifetime.
The study also assumes that since women still assume the bulk of family care, “Jane” takes a year off with no pay at the age of 40, by which time her income has grown significantly.
As such, she loses a year’s salary and has no savings to invest from this period. The time out also stalls her career progression.
These factors are part of the growing gender wealth discrepancy in old age. The study also suggests that women’s wealth takes a further hit if they have a flexible work arrangement in which they work part time.
Another factor that could contribute to the wealth gap is women’s more conservative investing profile; since they’re more risk-averse than men, their investments can reflect that in a smaller yield.
Yet another factor in the wealth gap is women’s longer lifespans. Losing out on money during their careers from lower salaries, lower investment yields and time out from the job means they’ll find it harder to maintain their lifestyles during retirement.