Do you usually celebrate Mother’s Day by sending a card or a bouquet of flowers? In his article for Marketwatch, Andrew Keshner writes This Mother’s Day, moms need a lot more than flowers. Keshner cites a recent survey by MassMutual which found that only 59% of mothers say they are optimistic about their finances verses 74% of fathers.
This disparity highlights the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on women, with working mothers more likely to face job loss while being less likely to get a raise, all while shouldering most of the remote learning, elder care, and in-home responsibilities.
Women were already more likely to experience the stressors of “sandwich generation” caregiving – providing assistance to a parent, while raising children. Women are more likely than men to withdraw partially or fully from the workforce when caregiving demands are high – negatively impacting their career advancement and retirement savings.
Oxfam reports that worldwide, women missed out on over $800 billion in lost wages during the pandemic alone.
Since in the US, women live an average of 6 years longer than men, it’s vital that they plan to spend more years in retirement, and anticipate that for some of those years, they will be living alone.
The MassMutual survey also found that half the fathers reported that they had increased their savings during the Pandemic, while only 25% of mothers reported the same. Only 10% of mothers reported a promotion or raise, opposed to 18% of fathers during the same period.
Amanda Wallace, MassMutual’s head of insurance options sums it up: “Ahead of Mother’s Day, it’s important for businesses, communities and loved ones to acknowledge these challenges, and provide as much support as possible to working moms in particular.”
Get her flowers, take her to brunch, send her a card, but most of all talk with the mothers in your life about their savings, retirement planning, and estate planning. Ensure she is getting financial advice from a fiduciary financial planning professional, and good legal advice from a Certified Elder Law Attorney.