Women face challenges and obstacles in saving for retirement, which should place retirement planning atop their to-do list. But a new LIMRA study finds that nearly one-third of women have not completed basic retirement planning activities, including calculating assets and determining expenses and income.
Compared to men, women are less engaged in retirement and investment activities LIMRA has found. Only a third of women said they were actively involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings, compared with 46 percent of men. Two-thirds of women were not confident that would be able to live their desired retirement lifestyle, but only 26 percent said that are spending time investigating financial products that could help them.
The challenges of saving for retirement are compounded for women due to several factors. One is the inequitable salaries between women and men. A study released Thursday by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) finds that Millennial women just one year out of college are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. They are paid less than men even when they do the same work and major in the same field.
Among all full-time workers, the study finds, women are paid about 77 cents for every dollar paid to men — a figure that hasn't budged in 10 years.
Women have been unduly hurt by the economic recovery. They have regained only 26.7 percent of the jobs they lost in the recession, while men regained 40.6 percent, USA Today reports. Another factor is time spent away from the workplace to be a caregiver.
All of this will impact their Social Security benefits, which are based in large part on job earnings. Women, too, live longer, meaning they will have to stretch their retirement savings longer.
“We know from earlier studies that working women, on average, have accumulated 40 percent less than men for retirement,” said Celia Shiner, senior analyst, LIMRA retirement research, in a statement. “Even though six-in-ten women are concerned they aren’t saving enough to last throughout their retirement, we see few women taking steps to mitigate for the risk.”
LIMRA finds a knowledge gap between men and women. Just one-third of women surveyed feel they are knowledgeable about financial products and services, compared with 55 percent of men. Of those women who said they were knowledgeable, nearly twice as many (60 percent) were actively involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings, and more than half of these women were confident that would be able to maintain their lifestyle in retirement.
Men tend to be more confident than women about the financial knowledge, affirms Millionaire Corner research. Nearly one-fourth of men surveyed by Millionaire Corner earlier this year said they were “very knowledgeable” about financial products and investments, compared to 10 percent of women. The survey also found that 46 percent of men said financial knowledge was “extremely important,” a view shared by 36 percent of 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.