Women Are Not as Confident

Wells Fargo recently released their sixth annual Retirement Survey, and according to this study, women still lag in saving for retirement. The survey covered middle-class women from their mid-20s to those who are already retired and in their 60s.

  • Just 54% of women said they are “confident” they will have enough saved to “live the life they want” in retirement, compared with 62% of men.
  • Although both men and women are underfunded for retirement, women have saved less than men. Women also set their sights lower than men. When asked how much they thought they would need to support themselves during retirement, women said they are aiming for a median of $200,000, whereas men predict they will need retirement savings of $400,000.
  • Almost 30% of women between the ages of 40 and 69 are “not sure or can’t estimate” how much they will need to withdraw from their retirement savings annually while in retirement, and about 32% of women in their 40s and 50s estimate they will withdraw 11% to 30% or greater each year, not exactly a realistic number nor sustainable over their lifetime.
  • Across all age groups, women are much less likely to characterize themselves as the “primary” financial decision-maker than are men (35% vs. 55% of men). Among married women, 83% say they are the joint financial decision-maker, whereas 58% of married men say they are a joint decision maker.
  • Just 27% of women have confidence in the stock market as a place for investment gains for their savings, compared with 40% of men. If given $5,000 with the instruction that it be “put away for your retirement,” 40% of all women say they would purchase bank CDs instead of putting the money in the market, compared with 30% percent of men.

According to Wells Fargo, women hold more than half of high-paying management and professional positions in the U.S. and three women are in college for every two men. But when it comes to retirement, they lag in their confidence about how to prepare for this phase in life and are less likely to see themselves in the driver’s seat.

And these are just some of the reasons why women and men should consider working with professional agents and advisors. Use LIFE’s agent locator to find someone to help you.

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, President and CEO of Life Happens

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and president and CEO of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

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