Women Start Planning Early for Retirement

Whether they’re Millennials, Generation Xers or Boomers, American women are actively considering their future retirement and financial security, a survey said.

The study said 36% of Millennials (ages 25 to 29) and 34% of GenXers (ages 30 to 42) say they are already pondering their retirement nest egg. Retirement is also a top-of-mind consideration for 28% of Boomer women (ages 43 to 61) who participated in the study of the financial experience and behaviors of women by Prudential.

Better Education

Although women across generations demonstrated a firm grasp of insurance products (29%) and workplace retirement plans (28%), a steady drop in understanding of mutual funds (15%), long-term care insurance (13%), and annuities (10%) occurred in relation to age—except among Matures, who demonstrated more knowledge across the board, Prudential said.

“The good news is that educational messages related to women’s financial security appear to be resonating,” said Christine Marcks, President of Prudential Retirement. “But we’ve learned over the course of eight years of research that this awareness does not always translate into action. Considering their longevity, it’s critical for women to learn about financial risks they may face and how to plan for a secure retirement.”

Getting Prepared

One in five Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials feel “very well prepared,” for retirement compared to two in five Matures. In reporting their expected sources of retirement income, roughly two-thirds of women indicated their own personal savings over government support and/or a systematic workplace savings plan. Not surprisingly, only 35% of Millennials expect to rely on Social Security versus 91% of Matures.

Forty percent of women who claimed to be “ahead” in their retirement feel very well-prepared to make important financial decisions compared to 7% of those who said they are “very behind.” Ninety percent of women who consider themselves “very confident” are ahead of schedule or on track with their savings, compared with only 4% of those who said they are not confident.

Savings Holdup

About eight in 10 survey respondents said they believe maintaining their lifestyle in retirement is a priority, yet few are very confident they can achieve it. A 62-point gap exists between women’s confidence levels and the importance they place on this goal.

Seventy-two percent of women admitted that procrastination affects their own personal experience. One-third of women cited family demands as the number one factor contributing to their delays in planning and saving for retirement, and one in five said they put off financial planning and saving because they do not make enough money.

Prudential Financial’s Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women polled 1,033 American women about their financial knowledge, actions taken, and confidence in attaining their financial goals.

The study is available here.