Lack of Retirement Goal Stresses Women Most

Most women lack a specific retirement savings goal, which may link to higher levels of financial stress.

A TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. survey revealed 75% of women have no specific retirement savings goal, and nearly one in four (22%) older than 23 have not started saving for retirement yet, compared with 13% of men.

The study also found 38% of women started saving for retirement after the age of 34. Furthermore, 30% of women anticipate they will be worse off financially in retirement compared with their male counterparts (23%), and 48% of women said they are not looking forward to retirement.

When female investors were asked what amount they wanted to have set aside for retirement, the average was $1.8 million while men said $1.3 million. In addition, women said they expect to need retirement income for nearly 20 years, which, assuming they retire in their early 60s, is on target with the Census Bureau’s average life expectancy for women of 80.5 years.

Starting young and saving regularly may alleviate stress, the study suggested. Women who began saving for retirement before age 30 and who contribute regularly to their retirement savings feel less anxious (28% vs. 43%), less frustrated (20% vs. 36%), less regretful (9% vs. 20%), and more positive (42% vs. 27%) and satisfied (33% vs. 16%) about retirement compared with those women who started saving after age 30 and who do not contribute regularly to retirement savings.

The online survey was conducted with 2,029 U.S. residents from March 27 to 28, by Head Research on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.