Increasing financial literacy is a hot topic for the retirement industry these days, and with good reason, according to a group of panelists at the 2014 Retirement Industry Conference in Chicago, IL.
The roundtable discussion, titled “Innovative Approaches to Financial Literacy,” offered a range of perspectives on how the industry is currently addressing financial wellness.
Lara Hinz, Director of Programs, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, explained that women are especially at risk when it comes to retirement due to longevity risks.
At age 65+, there are 6.2 million more women than men, while women account for 68 percent of the 85+ age group in the U.S.
This age group is also the most likely demographic to end up in poverty, Hinz noted, and many women who have never been poor before still end up in poverty as they grow older.
“I used to be excited about the fact that women live longer than men,” Hinz said.
“The more I’ve learned, though, the more the thought of living longer terrifies me.”
Women are affected by a series of unique issues that affect their financial health:
- they live longer than men
- they earn less money,
- they often spend more time away from work because of caregiving responsibilities
- they tend to work part-time more often during their career, which negatively impacts health care and employer-sponsored retirement plans.
While many advisors work with couples to create a retirement plan that includes both spouses, it’s also important to help female clients plan for the time after their partner dies.
At risk youth
Another key demographic the industry must focus on is the young, according to David Anderson, Executive Vice President, Working in Support of Education, Inc.