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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Women Facing Retirement Admit Uncertainty

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“Women are more willing than men to admit that they don’t know how much money they can safely withdraw from their retirement nest eggs,” says Ted Mathas, executive vice president at New York Life Insurance Company, New York.

In the recent National Underwriter/New York Life poll of 1,002 consumers, 51% of women said they don’t know how much they can draw out every year without running out of principal prematurely, he points out. Meanwhile, only 29% of men said they did not know.

This finding has planning implications for advisors as well as for women, Mathas indicates.

The survey also found that women are more concerned about having to fund retirement beyond age 85 than are men. Over half the women (57%) said they are very or somewhat concerned about this, while only 43% of the men said so.

In addition, 76% of the women are concerned about major cutbacks in Social Security vs. 62% of the men.

The openness of women to recognize their situation should be expected, suggests Mathas. Women live longer than men, so “they are more concerned about making their assets last,” he says.

The companion survey, of 500 financial advisors, indicates women also have another reason for concern. Well over two-thirds of advisors who were polled said they strongly or somewhat agree that men do not plan well for their spouse’s financial well-being after their deaths.

In other words, “women are in trouble,” if they do not make retirement plans, said Chris Blunt, executive vice president, New York Life Investment Management, New York.

The National Underwriter/New York Life surveys were conducted this spring by Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc., Washington, D.C.


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