Women’s retirement: More planning

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Women are at greater risk than men are of not achieving a financially secure retirement, according to a March 2014 report.

“Fourteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook” by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 75 percent of women who were surveyed participate in a 401(k) or similar plan at work, compared with 80 percent of men. However, when asked how they arrived at their savings needs, 59 percent of the women “guessed,” compared with 40 percent of men who “guessed,” the study found.

What can women do to improve their retirement readiness? Calculate how much that they’ll have to save each year to reach their retirement goal, and take full advantage of any company-sponsored 401(k) plan. However, women should recognize that they likely have to save a larger percentage of their income and for a longer period of time to hit their retirement target than men do. Women statistically earn less and are more likely than men are to work part time (45 percent of women compared with 24 percent of men, according to the Transamerica report). Further, because women have longer life expectancies than men do, they should have a higher savings target.