You know that old saw about women having to work twice as hard as men? When it comes to retirement saving, it’s pretty much true — because they face handicaps that men don’t.
That’s according to a Financial Finesse report, “2015 Gender Gap in Financial Wellness,” which found that, although women are “slowly becoming better prepared for retirement,” there’s still a need for progress because “they face even higher hurdles than men due to longer life expectancies, higher lifetime health care costs, lower median savings and lower median income.”
Ironically, the report says that while women are making progress, men are either holding steady or actually losing ground.
And the loss can be related to confidence. Men have it, women don’t — which can hold women back in making financial decisions, but which also can cause men to forge ahead with “negative financial behaviors” and to be sure that their investments are allocated properly (48 percent of men vs. 34 percent of women).
Women are also taking more advantage of employer-provided financial education than men are.
The report said that in 2014, two thirds of employees completing a financial wellness assessment were women. Three years before, the number was just over a half.
But women are definitely running behind on retirement savings, despite their efforts to catch up.
The report gave an example of how men and women compare in the retirement savings arena, looking at a man and a woman, both 45 years old, and evaluating median figures for salary, average deferral rate, retirement life expectancy, projected income needs and health care costs.