Prudential: Women Less Confident About Retirement Savings

June 11, 2003 ( - A new study has revealed women pre-retirees are less confident about achieving retirement goals than their male counterparts.

Overall, 73% of men are confident their investments are on the right track, compared to just 57% of women. Additionally, almost half (47%) of women polled are worried about having to postpone retirement, while just 32% of men share that sentiment, according to a Prudential Financial, Inc. study.

Some of the apprehension may have to do with financial advice and subsequently the level of comfort with their finances.   Where 71% of men feel they have a good understanding of asset allocation, only 56% of women feel the same.   Additionally, two-thirds of men are happy with their current level of household savings, compared to 52% of women. Many men and women pre-retirees polled, however, do seem to agree that much of today’s investment information is confusing and often contradictory.

Not surprisingly, 39% of women polled are considered to be in “frail” financial health, having yet to take many of the necessary steps to plan, monitor and seek advice on their investments, retirement planning and protection needs.   Comparatively, 41% of women pre-retirees are in “fair to good” financial health, while just 20% have “excellent” financial health.

“The fact that women aged 45 to 60 are far less confident about achieving their retirement saving goals is alarming,” said Vivian Banta, vice chairman of Prudential. “When you consider that the financial responsibility of today’s women is expanding and evolving rapidly, more must be done to help build women’s financial confidence.”

Prudential’s Survey of America’s Pre-Retirees polled a nationwide sample of 359 fulltime employed men and women between the ages of 45 and 60 in December 2002. The release of the gender-specific findings serve as a follow-up to Prudential’s 2002 Study on the Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women, the company’s bi-annual look at the financial health of America’s Baby Boom women.