While the pandemic did not change the retirement plans of most women, those who said there was such an impact were more than twice as likely to say it pushed back their expected retirement date vs. advancing it, a study has found.
The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Research’s report focused on data from 2,600 women in its most recent survey on attitudes toward retirement to view the impact of the pandemic in light of factors that put them “at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement than men” due to factors such as overall lower lifetime earnings, less likelihood of access to retirement savings programs and longer life expectancies.
For example, it found that the pandemic worsened the financial condition of 24 percent of women vs. 20 percent of men, and that women also were more likely to have made financial adjustments such as accumulating new debt or reducing or stopping investments in retirement accounts. Also, it said, women are more likely to fear that in retirement they will be unable to meet the basic needs of their family, lose their independence, and lack access to adequate and affordable healthcare and affordable housing.
“Women and men similarly indicate the pandemic has not changed when they expect to retire (61 percent, 60 percent). However, three in 10 women (30 percent) say that it has changed their retirement expectations, including 22 percent who expect to retire later and eight percent who expect to retire earlier. One in 10 women (10 percent) are “not sure” if the pandemic has changed their retirement expectations,” it said.
“Many women (41 percent) expect to retire after age 70 or do not plan to retire, including 24 percent who expect to retire at age 70 or older, and 17 percent who do not plan to retire. Women and men somewhat similarly expect to retire at age 65 (23 percent, 20 percent). In contrast, men are more likely than women to expect to retire before age 65 (33 percent, 25 percent),” it said.
Women also are more likely to expect to work at least part-time after retirement, it said.