Women more likely to put careers on hold to care for loved ones

CIBC study says 30% of women have reduced or stopped saving as a direct result of care responsibilities

Mario ToneguzziA new study by CIBC says 69 per cent Canadian women make significant financial sacrifices, including putting their careers on hold to care for loved ones, which can put them at a considerable disadvantage to men when it comes to saving for their retirement.

The study also found that 30 per cent of women say they’ve reduced or stopped saving as a direct consequence of child care or elder care responsibilities. Also, 73 per cent say they’re actively involved in their long-term financial planning, and that grows to 82 per cent among women over 55 years of age.

“Women take on the bulk of care responsibilities for children and aging loved ones. However, it’s encouraging to see that despite the pull of family duties, women are jumping into the driver’s seat when it comes to their own financial well-being,” said Kathleen Woodard, senior vice-president of CIBC Imperial Service, in a statement.

“Making the decision to quit working, reduce hours or forgo career advancement can have a direct impact on savings, so it’s critical to put a plan in place and take steps to address any savings shortfall to ensure their own financial security down the road.”

The study also found:

  • 57 per cent of women say there have been consequences to their career after caring for others, compared to 45 per cent of men;
  • 19 per cent have taken an extended absence and 16 per cent have decreased work hours;
  • women are nearly three times more likely than men to quit work to provide care at 16 per cent, compared to six per cent of men;
  • 18 per cent hesitated on making a career move;
  • 30 per cent of women have reduced or stopped contributing to savings as a consequence of caring for others;
  • on average, women aged 55-plus have amassed approximately $125,000 in personal savings – half of what men have saved, at $250,000;
  • 83 per cent of women are willing to make personal sacrifices to save more money;
  • 65 per cent of women worry about running out of money in retirement;
  • 90 per cent of women are the main or co-decision maker when it comes to investing.

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