Many Factors Can Set Women Back on Retirement Prep

Transamerica takes a look at 16 factors making women anxious about retirement.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has released a report analyzing women’s retirement outlook in the U.S.—and why it is shaky for many. 

Called “Sixteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook,” the new report is based on findings from the 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers. The firm says its latest report is being released in recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, “which recognizes women’s social, political and economic advancement.”

“Women in the 21st century are better educated and enjoy career opportunities that our grandmothers’ generation could only dream about,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. “However, even in 2016, a woman’s ability to achieve a secure retirement is filled with obstacles, such as lower pay and time out of the workforce for parenting or care-giving, which can negatively affect her own long-term financial prospects.”

Following are 16 facts about women in the workforce and their retirement outlook:

1.) Only 12% of women are “very confident” in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

2.) Fifty-six percent of women plan to retire after age 65 or not at all.

3.) Fifty-one percent of women plan to work at least part time after they retire.

4.) Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Baby Boomer women do not have a backup plan if forced into retirement sooner than expected.

5.) Nearly half (46%) expect their primary source of retirement income will come from their 401(k) or other savings and investments, while 29% plan to rely mostly on Social Security.

NEXT: Social Security outlook

6.) The vast majority, 81%, of women are concerned that Social Security will not be there for them when they retire.

7.) Among women who plan to take time out of the workforce to be a caregiver, 67% think it will adversely impact their ability to save for retirement.

8.) Nearly one third, 28%, of women work part-time and are less likely to have workplace retirement benefits.

9.) Sixty-two percent of women are offered a 401(k) or similar employee-funded retirement plan.

10.) Seventy-six percent of women who are offered an employee-funded plan participate in it.

11.) Women who participate in their employer’s retirement plan save an average of 7% of their salary.

12.) Fifty-three percent of women are saving for retirement outside of work in an individual retirement account (IRA), mutual fund, bank account or other vehicle.

13.) Women estimate they will need an average of $1 million to feel financially secure in retirement.

14.) Among women who have estimated their retirement savings needs, 62% say they guessed.

15.) Only 36% of women use a professional financial adviser. Among this group, 75% rely on them for retirement investment recommendations.

16.) Fifty-two percent of women say that information that is easier to understand would motivate them to learn more about retirement.