Gender and the Economy Conference: Wealth and Retirement Panel | Summary and Q&A

January 11, 2023
Federal Reserve
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Gender and the Economy Conference: Wealth and Retirement Panel


In this panel discussion, experts discuss the state of retirement security for women, the impact of the pandemic, and policies to address retirement disparities. Key insights include the need for more wealth for women, the importance of combining policies and market innovations, and the role of financial education and resources.

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Key Insights

  • 🧔‍♀️ Women need more wealth, not less, due to income disparities and longer lifespans.
  • 😚 Policy reforms, such as expanding access to retirement savings plans and improving Social Security benefits, are crucial for closing retirement savings gaps.
  • 🧔‍♀️ Market innovations, including impact investing and services tailored to women, can also help address retirement disparities.
  • 🎓 Financial education and resources are essential, and organizations like WISER provide accessible retirement planning tools.
  • 💳 Basic economic policies, such as affordable housing and access to credit, are fundamental to strengthening retirement security.
  • 🖐️ Personal financial management, including tracking retirement savings and managing debt, plays a crucial role in securing one's retirement.
  • 🍉 Debt should be approached with caution, and individuals should consider the long-term implications and manage it responsibly.
  • 🦮 The narrative around debt is changing, and a more nuanced understanding is needed to guide individuals in making informed financial decisions.


for our final panel of the day before our closing remarks I would like to introduce Melanie De La Cruz Fiesta of the University of California Los Angeles to lead our conversation on wealth and retirement thank you thank you Jennifer and to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors conference organizers for pulling together this tremendous Gathering of... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some manageable steps individuals can take to strengthen their retirement security?

It is important to track retirement savings when changing jobs and preserve them by rolling them over into another retirement account. Focusing on building financial stability, increasing income, and managing debt are also crucial steps.

Q: Are there resources available to help individuals through various stages of their financial lives?

The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) offers accessible and informative financial and retirement planning resources. Financial coaches and organizations like the Neighborhood Trust Financial Empowerment centers also provide assistance.

Q: Is there such a thing as "good debt" anymore?

The perception of debt has changed, and it is important to be cautious. However, there may still be instances where debt can be considered "good" if it is manageable and enables an individual to make investments in their education or a home.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Three speakers discuss gender, wealth, and retirement, highlighting the importance of economic inclusion and policy reforms.

  • The gender wealth gap is far greater than the income gap, and women of color face even greater disparities.

  • Retirement savings are critical for financial security, but women need more wealth due to longer lifespans and income disparities.

  • The pandemic has exacerbated retirement insecurity, with many women reducing or stopping contributions to retirement accounts.

  • Policy solutions include expanding access to retirement savings plans, creating a universal child care system, and improving Social Security benefits.

  • Market innovations such as impact investing and financial services tailored to women's needs can also help close retirement savings gaps.

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