Women's Top 6 Retirement Worries

Women's Top 6 Retirement Worries

Start Slideshow

Only 43% of American women report that they feel financially secure, and 44% expect to be financially prepared for retirement, according to newly released findings from Northwestern Mutual’s 2023 Planning & Progress Study

In contrast, 59% of men in the study said they feel financially secure, and 61% think they will be financially prepared for retirement.

“What our research tells us is that there is a gender gap in financial confidence,” said Tim Gerend, chief distribution officer at Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. “The impact of inflation and the worries people have about recession and retirement are felt unevenly, but they are significant for both women and men.” 

The study was conducted by The Harris Poll between Feb. 13 and March 2 among 2,740 U.S. adults. 

Sixty-three percent of men surveyed believe Social Security will be there when they need it, while only 48% of women overall agree. 

Besides the differences between women and men, the findings also showed that 63% of baby boomer and older women are confident Social Security will be there when they need it, compared with 48% of Generation Z women, 39% of millennial women and 37% of Gen X women.

Northwestern Mutual noted that its proprietary research showed that 39% of Gen Z and 32% of millennial women believe they will live to 100. That compares with 23% of Gen X and 20% of older women. 

In fact, American women’s average lifespan is 79 — nearly six years longer than men’s, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the life expectancy rate for women will surpass 87 years by 2060.

See also  IRA Rollovers Can Have Steep Costs When Done Wrong, New Study Shows

Interestingly, 59% of Gen Z women said they will be financially prepared for retirement — a significantly higher proportion than that reported by women in all older generations.

Financial Planning

When it comes to financial planning, younger generations of women are most inclined to say theirs needs improvement. While 66% of women overall think their financial plans need improvement, 79% of Gen Z and 76% of millennial women agree.

“Our data disproves the old myth that ‘young people think they know everything,’” Gerend said. “Coming out of the pandemic, many young Americans saw why financial security is so important. Their passion for continuous improvement is a great sign for these generations and their financial futures.”

Younger generations of women are also likelier to prioritize saving over paying down debt than their older counterparts, the study found. Conversely, older generations of women are more likely to prioritize paying down debt over saving.

Fifty-eight percent of women surveyed said they did not have a long-term financial plan that factored in up and down economic cycles, but there is a generational gap, with 67% of Gen Xers saying this, compared with 57% of boomers and older women and 52% each of millennials and Gen Z. 

Gen X women are also the least likely to say they will be financially prepared for retirement when the time comes.

The survey asked pre-retirees about their biggest fears and concerns in retirement. They were allowed to choose more than one response. See the gallery for American women’s top six worries about retirement, according to Northwestern Mutual.

See also  What is a living benefits life insurance rider?

Start Slideshow