Financial Worry Greater for Boomer Women Than Men

Baby Boomer women are more uncomfortable, worried or concerned than Boomer men about their current and future financial situation, according to AARP.

An AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) survey found that Boomer women were one-third more likely than Boomer men to express a high degree of financial concern (39% versus 22.3%).

Asked about level of confidence in having enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement, 60% of women said they were not confident versus 51% of men.  Seventy-nine percent of women expressed concern about their ability to maintain a reasonable standard of living in retirement, whereas 73% of men said the same.

When asked about level of discomfort with current debt levels (such as loans, mortgages or credit card debt), 48% of women said they were uncomfortable compared with 41% of men. Regarding discomfort with their current savings level, 64% of women expressed discomfort versus 59% of men.

Almost all Boomer women (87%) said they were worried that income in retirement might not keep up with inflation, whereas 79% of men said the same. More than three-quarters of women (78%) said they were concerned about depleting savings (74% of men).

Relating to a fear of retirement income varying based on interest rate changes, 67% of women expressed this feeling compared with 55% of men.

The one category where the worry of Boomer men exceeded that of Boomer women was regarding his spouse/partner’s ability to maintain the same standard of living should he die first (55% of men versus 47% of women).



Further survey findings include:

  • More women than men said they were concerned about not being able to afford to stay in their current home for the rest of their life (64% versus 56%);
  • Fifty-three percent of women said they were unsure about being able to leave money to children or other heirs; less than half of men (44%) shared this concern;
  • More than half (57%) of women said they were worried they will have to rely on children or other family members for financial assistance, versus 42% of men;
  • Fifty-three percent of women expressed concern about having to move in with relatives or have relatives move in with them, whereas 38% of men said they felt the same;
  • Eighty-one percent of women said they were somewhat or very concerned about having enough money to pay for adequate health care compared with 77% of men;
  • Regarding having enough money for a long stay in a nursing home or long period of home nursing care, 84% of women versus 78% of men said they were concerned; 
  • In rating their own family’s financial well-being today, 57% of women said it was fair or poor, compared with 52% of men; and
  • Sixty-percent of women said their personal financial situation a year from now will stay the same or become worse versus 59% of men.

The survey is based on interviews with nearly 4,000 Boomers ages 50 to 64 during October 2010 as part of an AARP Public Policy Institute study about the recent recession’s impact on older workers.

For the full fact sheet, click here.