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Retirement saving tips geared toward women

April 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
According to the latest U.S. Census, when it comes to saving for retirement, women make 80 percent of the money men make for the same jobs. All that translates into a big deficit come retirement time. Find out how to save enough cash decade-by-decade.

Jackie Jackson loves flowers, free time and retirement.

"Just think about it, you won't stay in those 20s and 30s always," Jackson constantly tells her kids.

She always knew splurging on the big house and the big car were a big waste of money.

"My father always said if you make a 5, put 2 away; if you got a dime, put a nickel away," said Jackson.

Etta Money of InCharge Debt Solutions said women need to save more just to catch up to men. Just try adding a woman's lower wages to any lost wages during time-off to raise kids.

"They're losing maybe about $400,000 over a 40-year career," said Money.

Here's the savings plan for your 20s: Start living on just 50 percent of your take-home pay. Put 20 percent more into debt repayment and retirement, and you're ahead of the game.

In your 30s, start building emergency savings by saving 10 percent of your take-home pay. Then, add an extra 5 percent of take-home on top of your normal house payment to pay the mortgage quicker.

At 40, accelerate retirement savings by tucking away 10 percent of take-home pay. Imagine, a 30-year-old woman making $30,000 a year, saving 10 percent each paycheck will have nearly $300,000 in retirement by the time she's 55.

"You've got to identify your needs versus your wants," advised Money.

It's a good mantra from Jackie, who never made more than $40,000 a year and hit retirement with a paid-off home and plenty in the bank.

"That's my advice, to put something away. Even if it's tough, but still, put something away," said Jackson.

It is fairly obvious that if you earn more you can save more, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to get a college degree.

Studies show that people with college degrees on average earn twice as much per year than those without one.