Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Due to earnings patterns and other factors, women “are at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement than men,” a report from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies says, and “the pandemic has exacerbated these headwinds.”

“Many women have been stretched beyond their limits, juggling employment with home schooling their children and caregiving for aging loved ones. Many have encountered employment setbacks such as reduced hours and pay, furloughs, and layoffs. Given these pressures, some women have given up their employment and dropped out of the workforce altogether,” it said.

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In a survey, it found that women were more likely to say that their financial situation has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and are more likely to say that they have been impacted “a great deal,” it said that due to the pandemic women also were slightly more likely to have dipped into savings, accumulated new credit card debt, borrowed money from others or reduced or stopped savings toward retirement.

Women also were more likely to be concerned about not being able to meet their family’s financial needs in retirement—and relatedly were more likely to be concerned that Social Security will be reduced in the future. Overall, only 18 percent of women said they are “very” confident that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle, compared with 28 percent of men, while 16 percent vs. 5 percent say they are “not at all” confident.

Also, 18 percent of women said the pandemic reduced their retirement confidence, compared with just 14 percent of men.

One result was that women also are more likely to expect to continue working in retirement. “As women plan to extend their working lives beyond traditional retirement age, it is important they become more proactive about taking steps that can help protect their employability, such as safeguarding their health, keeping their job skills up to date, staying abreast of the employment market, and networking and meeting new people,” the report said.

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