Retirement. For some, it is something to look forward to and for others, it becomes something to fear.

This all depends on how you have saved for that important phase of your life. When you have a large nest egg it can be an easy transition, when you don’t it can be devastating.

What studies have shown over the last few years is that there is one group in particular that is disadvantaged when it comes to retirement savings. That group is women.

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The Broadbent Institute found that 28 per cent of senior women in Canada are living below the poverty line and it will only get worse in the years to come. Another study found that women should be saving almost 18 per cent of their income to enjoy the same retirement lifestyle as men who save 10 per cent of theirs.

Here are a few reasons why:

1.    Women Live Longer

Although the life expectancy gap between men and women is shrinking, the average life expectancy in Canada is still on average around 79 years for men and 83 years for women. This means women typically will need more money for retirement.

2.    Women Earn Less
The wage gap is real in Canada and it is large. Woman earn 88 cents for every $1 earned by a man. Obviously, this means women have less money available to put away to save. A recent study found that this ends up costing women almost $16,000 a year.

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3.    Women Are More Likely To Leave The Workforce
According to CBC News, women work an average of 28 years in their lifetime while men work 38. There is an entire decade where women are not making any income of their own. This is mainly because women leave their job to raise kids and take care of ageing parents.

Unions have fought for better pensions for all Canadians for decades, calling for the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan. Being a union member also means you will get a good wage that is fair no matter what your gender is and also means an excellent pension plan. We should be making sure all Canadians look forward to their retirement and can enjoy that part of their life to the fullest.