Women need help in planning for retirement

Women have made great financial strides over the years, but one thing that hasn’t improved for them is their retirement planning, according to a new study by the Insured Retirement Institute. Retirement planning is different for women than for men because women have typically made less money than men over the years but they live longer.

The report, Women and Retirement, found that women have made great financial strides over the years, controlling 27 percent of investable assets worldwide. In households where both spouses work, the percentage of women who earn more than their husbands increased from 18 percent in 1987 to 29 percent in 2009.

Income disparities over time can have a significant effect on the amount of money women are able to save for retirement. After 30 years, this translates into a 25 percent to 30 percent shortfall compared to that of a male worker with the same savings and investing pattern, the report found.

Between 59 and 75 percent of women are family caregivers. That means that 33 percent of working women decreased their hours to care for someone else; 29 percent passed up promotions, training or assignments; 20 percent switched to part-time work and 16 percent quit their jobs.

Women also can expect their health care costs to be 13 percent higher than men during retirement.

Of the Baby Boomer women surveyed in 2012, 34 percent said they did not know when they plan on retiring, which opens up an opportunity for advisors to come in and help educate women about their options, the report said.

Only four in 10 women over the age of 55 felt prepared for retirement, but one-quarter of women said they have little to no confidence in the way they have planned so far.

IRI research found that 18 percent of women Baby Boomers believed that guaranteed income each month was the most important trait when choosing a financial vehicle for retirement. Seventeen percent said they believed that whatever their financial advisor recommended was the best option and 15 percent said rate of return was the most important.


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