Only three-in-ten Boomer women and 13 percent of Gen X women have high levels of confidence in accumulating savings sufficient to allow them to live comfortably through retirement.
“Significant, yet far from equal.” That’s the role of women in today’s workplace, according to a new report from the Insured Retirement Institute that finds Baby Boomer and Gen women struggling to juggle multiple financial priorities and goals, not the least of which is ensuring they are saving enough for retirement.
Baby Boomer and Gen X women find themselves with some strikes against them. Women make up almost half (47 percent) of the total U.S. workforce, but less than 5 percent of the CEOS of Fortune 500 companies are women. And while women’s salaries have increase 91 percent from 1970 to 2010, women still make, on average, only $.82 for every $1 made by men.
Further, women have longer life expectancies, which translates into longer retirements.
The IRI report finds that these financial challenges are impairing their retirement readiness and outlook. Overall, three-in-ten Boomer women and 13 percent of Gen X women have high levels of confidence in accumulating
savings sufficient to allow them to live comfortably through retirement.
The prolonged economic downturn has had a severe detrimental effect particularly on Gen X women, the report states. More than one-third (35 percent) have experienced difficulties paying their rent or mortgage, while 19 percent have stopped contributing to a retirement account and 13 percent have prematurely withdrawn funds from a retirement account. Baby Boomer women, to a slightly lesser extent, have experienced the same financial behaviors.
When it comes to retirement income, the highest percentage of Boomer and Gen X women do not expect an inheritance or family support to be a source.
Seven-in-ten Gen X women and more than half of Boomer women expect that some of their retirement income will come from an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. They expect an IRA, personal investments, personal savings, Social Security and employment will be minor sources of retirement income
The report also found:
Thirty-five percent of Gen X women and one-in-five Boomer women do not have any retirement savings. Of Gen X women with retirement savings, 44 percent have $50,000 or less.
More than one-fourth of women Gen Xers and one-in-five Boomer women are unsure when they will retire.
About half of Boomer women plan to retire after age 65, including 29 percent who plan to retire at age 70 or later. Forty-three Gen X women plan to retire at or before age 65.
More than half of Boomer women and three-in-four Gen X women have not consulted a financial professional about retirement planning.
Related story: Retirement planning can avert crisis for "underprepared" women
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.