In fact, the Transition Network’s 2009 member survey revealed that a large percentage of its membership—women over 50 with at least a bachelor’s degree—have not changed their spending or their retirement strategies despite the recent economic downturn. Less than a quarter (22.9 %) reported returning to work or delaying retirement because of the down economy, and only about one-in-10 reported changing their spending habits—even though they are not returning to work.
Indeed, nearly half of the women in the survey (41.4%) chose to retire or took advantage of early retirement packages, followed by 23.4 % who are still employed in their primary careers and 22.5 % who “(c)hose a new role for personal/lifestyle changes.” Only 12.8 % were downsized or transferred to a less desirable position.
For the vast majority (82%), Social Security will be “a significant part” of their retirement income, with pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs playing “a significant part” for about 55% each. “Other investments” account for 66.3 % of their retirement income, with only 10.7 % reporting real estate as one of them. That said, while 44% were “confident I will be able to maintain my current lifestyle,” nearly an equal amount reported that “I may have to live at a reduced lifestyle.”
The Transition Network (TTN) is a national organization of women older than 50 and has chapters in nine U.S. locations. Half of TTN’s membership responded to the survey, with the largest numbers of respondents from New York and Washington, D.C. More than 80% of the women in the Transition Network (TTN) survey are between ages 56 and 70, and 92.3 % have a college degree of bachelor’s level or above.