Just how important is retirement for women?

"Women live on average six to eight years longer than men do. Eighty percent of women die single," Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest, told TheStreet.

But there are other reasons why women aren't preparing for retirement. Krawcheck explains:

"I like to say they call them individual retirement accounts for a reason. And that is as women, we can partially overcome the gender pay gap by investing. We can overcome some of this by focusing on our retirement savings and our retirement investments. And the challenge today is that again, if you go back to our society and the roles that we have historically adopted, the guys manage the money and the women manage the family."

"We have made for women talking about money so weird that it's almost criminal. Let me give you an example. If you were to leave here and go out for drinks with your girlfriends, you are infinitely more likely to talk about sex than about money. And in fact, I would challenge you that there's no amount of money you make today that you would feel comfortable telling your girlfriends about. Nothing. It's either too much or too little."

Related: Helene Meisler: "We Are in the Same Place We've Been"

"In fact, women prefer to talk about their own death than money. That's how weird we've made it. And it goes all the way back to childhood when the gender roles are enforced and dads talked to little boys about building wealth and moms talked to little girls about saving money. It's a little bit like Reshma Saujani talks about boys. Boys are taught to be brave, and girls are taught to be perfect. He's taught to build wealth and she's taught to save."

Related:  Sallie Krawcheck's full interview here.

"And the message that we then get as we grow up from the teen magazines and the women's magazines have historically been you spendthrift. Don't buy that latte. Save that money. Whereas the guys are getting diversified investment portfolio, do you want to buy IBM, is it time to sell Apple. And we're getting are you a Miranda or a Carrie when it comes to money. And so we infantalize women when it comes to money, which leads us to not [00:17:30] knowing what kind of raise to ask for, because we don't talk to anybody about it. And being unprepared for retirement. It's really a tragedy.

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