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Women Have a Big Retirement Savings Problem: Prudential

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Women have a more negative view of their financial health than men, even if they’re in good shape financially.

That’s according to Prudential’s Financial Wellness Census, which finds that among financially healthy women, 10.1% have a negative view of their money situation, compared with just 6.3% of financially healthy men. And in case you were wondering, the same holds true, with no statistically significant difference, among women who aren’t financially healthy.

Prudential defined “financially healthy” as doing better than average, based on income levels, savings and debt; 46% of respondents fit this description, while 54% were doing worse than average.

On average, women have saved 43% less for retirement than men. In addition, 46% say they have no retirement savings at all.

When creating strategies to secure a steady stream of income in retirement, that’s a significant gap to make up. The data shows women and men on average expect to retire at age 67. But women have saved an average of only $115,000 compared with $203,000 for men, and that’s not going to get them very far when it comes to sufficient retirement assets to last through a statistically longer lifespan as well as the potential need for more funds to spend on health care during that longer life.

Yet 48% of women are confident they’ll have enough saved to last them through retirement — despite earning lower average salaries than men and spending a shorter period of time in the workforce because of providing care to children and/or elderly relatives. That gives them not only less money but less time to save.

And it’s tough to save enough when you don’t even know how much “enough” is; just 38% know how much monthly income they’ll want to have in retirement, and even fewer — only 31% — know how much they’ll have to save to reach their retirement income goals.

And while women’s top retirement priority is making sure they’re financially secure despite the likelihood that they will outlive a spouse or partner, 28% said they intend to rely on their spouse’s money as a significant portion of retirement income.


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