Women Less Prepared Than Men for Retirement

May 3, 2012 ( - Women have distinct challenges and special needs when planning for retirement.

By Corie Russell | May 03, 2012
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According to a study commissioned by the ING Retirement Research Institute called “Retirement Revealed,” women are less prepared for retirement than men—with nearly $41,000 less saved on average.  

Fewer women (25%) than men (33%) have a formal investment plan to reach their retirement goals. In addition, 56% of women do not feel financially prepared for retirement, compared with 42% of men.  

Delia deLisser, director of women's marketing for ING U.S. Retirement, told PLANADVISER that women face special challenges including spending fewer years in the workforce than men in order to raise kids, and making less money than men. To compound the retirement crisis, they generally live longer than men.  

“This for us is really a concern because women are really facing some greater needs,” deLisser said.  

The challenges women face in retirement planning seem to ring true across generations. The survey found that in all generations, with the exception of the 50 to 64 age range, men tend to contribute higher percentages of pay to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Generation Y women (ages 25 to 34) are most likely to have barriers to saving (86%) compared with women 35 or older (74%).  Seventy percent of Gen Y women feel unprepared for retirement versus 56% of Gen Y men.