Women Have Lower Expectations for Retirement than Men

September 2, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A survey conducted on behalf of TD Ameritrade found 73% of women are comfortable accumulating less than $1 million in savings before retirement, compared to 63% of men.

Only 22% of women surveyed said they would like to accumulate $1 million or more in savings before retirement, compared to 32% of men, according to a press release. Twice as many men (12%) as women (5%) indicated they will strive to accumulate at least $5 million in savings before retiring.

The survey also found more men (68%) than women (58%) expect to live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, described as living modestly while affording some luxuries. Twenty-nine percent of women said they expect to have a downscale lifestyle when they stop working – able to pay their bills and remain independent – compared to 22% of men.

Seventy-nine percent of men said they are confident they will be able to achieve their targeted amounts in retirement savings, compared to 66% of women.

One thing the genders did have in common: When asked what they expect will be their biggest challenges in retirement, both men and women reported “being able to afford rising health care costs” as their number one challenge.

“The volatility of the markets in recent years seems to have had a lasting impact on women when it comes to retirement planning. Their confidence has been bruised, and they’ve become even more cautious when it comes to their finances,” said Diane Young, director, retirement and goal planning, TD AMERITRADE, in the press release.

The company previously reported its survey indicated women seem to be cutting back more on discretionary expenditures than men during these down economic times (see Study Finds Gender Gap in Belt-Tightening Moves ).