The Seventeen Facts About Women and Retirement
#1. Only 10 percent of women are "very confident" in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.
#2. 53 percent of women plan to retire after age 65 (40 percent) or not at all (13 percent).
#3. Half (50 percent) plan to work after they retire.
#4. Are women being proactive steps to continue working past age 65? While 62 percent say they are staying healthy, only 54 percent are focused on performing well at their current job and 42 percent are keeping their job skills up to date.
#5. Most women (64 percent) do not have a backup plan if forced into retirement sooner than expected.
#6. 72 percent are saving for retirement through a workplace plan and/or outside of work in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual fund, bank account, etc. Women started saving for retirement at age 28 (median).
#7. 47 percent expect their primary source of retirement income will be 401(k)/403(b) accounts/IRAs, and/or other savings and investments, while 27 percent expect to rely on Social Security. TCRS 1347-0317 2
#8. 68 percent of women are offered a 401(k) or similar employee-funded retirement plan. However, 26 percent work part-time and are therefore less likely to have workplace retirement benefits.
#9. 75 percent of women who are offered an employee-funded plan participate in the plan and contribute 6 percent (median) of their salary to the plan.
#10. Women believe that they will need to save $500,000 (median) in order to feel financially secure in retirement; among those who estimated their savings needs, 56 percent say they “guessed.”
#11. Women’s total household retirement savings is $34,000 (estimated median). #12. Women’s emergency savings is just $2,000 (estimated median).
#13. 57 percent of women say that having access to information that is easier to understand would motivate them to learn more about retirement.
#14. Only a quarter of women (25 percent) are aware of the Saver’s Credit tax credit.
#15. 38 percent of Baby Boomer women say they know a great deal or quite a bit about Social Security.
#16. 82 percent of women are concerned that Social Security won’t be there for them when they are ready to retire.
#17. Women’s number one retirement priority for the new President and Congress is fully funding Social Security by implementing reforms so that it can continue to pay future generations of retirees (59 percent).
TCRS' new report and fact sheet also offer eight action steps women can take to begin improving their retirement outlook. For more than a decade, TCRS has published research each year illustrating that women are at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement compared to men.
In December 2016, TCRS published Influences of Gender on Retirement Readiness which offers a five-year trend analysis. The goal of TCRS' research is to raise awareness of the retirement risks that women are facing and highlight opportunities in which they can take greater control of their long-term financial security.
About the 17th Annual Retirement Survey: This survey was conducted online in the US by Harris Poll on behalf of TCRS between April 11 and May 12, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of 4,161 workers including 2,315 women and 1,827 men. Potential respondents were targeted based on employment status and company size. Respondents met the following criteria: US residents, age 18 or older, full- or part-time workers in for-profit companies, and employer size of 10 or more. Results were weighted to account for differences between the population available via the Internet versus by telephone and to ensure that each quota group had a representative sample based on the number of employees at companies in each employee size range.
*The Transamerica Institute is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today. It comprises two research centers: the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) and the Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS). Its mission is to help educate and empower people to make informed decisions about important matters that can improve their health and wealth. The Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties.
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