Retirement Planning Differs Between Genders

Men and women are preparing for retirement in very different ways, according to research released by Ameriprise Financial.

Findings from the New Retirement Mindscape City Pulse index indicate that while men outpace women in planning for the financial aspects of retirement (77% vs. 72%), women are more likely to say they have thought about what they would like to do during retirement. Overall, 22% of respondents report confidence in reaching their retirement goals, but men are more likely than women to report this sentiment (25% vs. 19%).  

More than half of men (54%) report setting aside money in their own investments (such as stocks and IRAs) compared to 46% of women who say they have done the same. Men are also more likely than women to report that they have determined the amount of income needed in retirement (31% vs. 20%).   

Ameriprise said this additional financial preparation may be one reason men are more likely than women to say they feel on track for retirement (41% vs. 34%) and express confidence in their overall financial futures (22% vs. 16%).  

Women are more likely to report that family and health take a prominent role in their planning. They are more likely than men to say they plan to spend more time with family during retirement (41% vs. 34%) and that proximity to family is a very important factor in determining where they will retire (40% vs. 27%). They are also more likely than men to place importance on their proximity to friends and other retirees (21% vs. 13%).  

More than half (54%) of women are making plans to ensure they stay healthy during retirement, compared to 48% of men, and women are more likely to rate access to healthcare options and facilities as a very important factor to consider when deciding where to retire (38% vs. 32%). Women are also more likely to say they have spent time determining how they will rest and relax in retirement (25% vs. 19%).  

While men and women are preparing differently, they both may be dramatically underestimating how long they will need to live on their retirement savings. Those surveyed estimate that they will spend approximately 17 years in retirement while most financial professionals recommend accumulating enough savings for a 30-year retirement.  

“It’s especially important that women begin saving early and plan for a longer retirement because they have longer average life spans and spend more time out of the workforce,” said Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial.   

The New Retirement Mindscape 2011 City Pulse index was created by Ameriprise Financial utilizing survey responses from 11,611 U.S. adults ages 40 to 75. The survey was commissioned by Ameriprise Financial Inc. and conducted online by Harris Interactive from August 4 to 12, 2011.