Middle-aged Americans who are single or married with children from prior relationships find planning for retirement is tougher than it is for those with “traditional” families, a new study finds.
According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute’s “Family Matters” study, 40-to-65-year-olds with non-traditional families face more challenges with saving and investing and are less likely than are others to have a distinct retirement vision.
They are also less likely to have specific income vehicles, such as 401(k)s, pension plans and annuities.
Family structure largely influences how people plan for retirement, the study found. It addressed 3 specific mid-life segments: “traditional families” (2 parents with children from their current relationship); “blended families” (2 parents with at least one child from a previous relationship); and “single women” (widowed, divorced or never-married, with or without children).
“We should not be ignoring how former spouses, stepchildren and having no children influence savings and income for retirement as well as estate planning,” observes Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, a division of MetLife Inc., New York.
The survey found that 66% of traditional families feel at least to some extent prepared for retirement, compared with 56% of blended families and only 40% of single women. And 55% of traditional families have a clear idea of what they hope to experience when they retire, compared with 48% of blended families and only 38% of single women.