Data and Research

Financial Stress Often Tied to Family Structure

According to an MFS survey, just four in 10 women are confident in their ability to address financial concerns and just one-third of women surveyed are confident they'll be able to save enough for retirement.

By John Manganaro editors@plansponsor.com | June 01, 2017
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The 2017 MFS Heritage Planning Survey reflects on the “financial planning dilemma” that many women—and men as well—face when setting a work-life balance.

Confronting the issue frankly, the survey observes that, while more and more women are taking an equal or leading role in earning and managing household wealth, it is still more likely for women to leave work to care for their families—particularly young children.

Add this to the fact that women need to save more for retirement than men because they live longer, and it results in a really challenging picture for a lot of people. According to the MFS survey, just four in 10 women are confident in their ability to address financial concerns and just one-third of women surveyed are confident they'll be able to save enough for retirement.

“Women with children are much more likely than men to see job disruptions and a loss in retirement savings,” researchers note. “According to recent Bureau of Labor statistics, 70.5% of women with children under the age of 18 participate in the workforce, compared to 92.8% of men with children under 18.”

The contrast is even starker for women with young children, as just 64.7% of moms with kids under the age of six participate in the workforce, observes Jenine Garrelick, senior managing director of internal sales with MFS.

“Due to the effects of compounding, saving money for retirement during the early years in your career is crucial,” she explains. “For women who've put their careers on hold, there are investment vehicles, such as spousal IRAs, that can help them avoid putting their retirement security in jeopardy. Our research shows that most women don't know about the options available to them.”

NEXT: Improving the continuity of savings 

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