FEDweek

Report Suggest Ways for Women to Boost Retirement Security

Women overall are more concerned than men about their financial security in retirement but may be missing opportunities to better position themselves, according to a report by the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies.

The report cited survey data that only 10 percent of women are very confident in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle, compared with 19 percent of men. Meanwhile, 62 percent of women are only somewhat confident or not at all confident, compared with 51 percent of men.

Women and men are about the same in terms of expected retirement ages and expectations of working after retirement–slightly more than half expect to retire after age 65 or not at all, and even of those who plan to retire, half expect to continue working in retirement.

But it found a mixed bag in terms of taking proactive steps to enable continued work. While women are slightly more likely to be concentrating on staying healthy and performing well at their current job, they lag behind men in networking, meeting new people who might help their careers, and scoping out the employment market and the opportunities that may be available, it said.

Further, women are less likely than men to have a “plan B” if forced into retirement sooner than expected for reasons such as a job loss, health issues or family obligations. And women’s emergency savings tend to be lower than men’s, a median of $2,000 versus $10,000.

The report recommended that to take better control over their retirement, women should: concentrate on saving earlier and saving more; take full advantage of matching contributions in retirement savings plans such as the TSP; develop a written retirement plan; have a backup plan in case of earlier than expected retirement that includes emergency savings, disability and life insurance and possible ways to cut costs or generate income; and keep job skills up to date and learn new ones.