Women fall short in their retirement preparations

With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8, the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement has released research and recommendations to help women be better prepared for retirement.

  • Multitasking women drop the ball on retirement planning
  • Women aspire to a retirement of travel, spending time with friends and family
  • Low confidence about retiring with a comfortable lifestyle
  • Majority of women have a low Aegon Retirement Readiness Index Score
  • Women most likely to rely on spouse for financial support in retirement

Infographic: Busy women fall short in their retirement preparations

Women's retirement facts infographic

The facts used to prepare the infographic are taken from the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2015 and focus on women aged 40 to 59, commonly referred to as the 'sandwich generation'. These women are often caring for children as well as aging parents, while managing their careers and financial security; this is taking a toll on how prepared they feel about their own retirement.

The good news is that women in the sandwich generation envision an active retirement with 62 percent aspiring to travel, spend more time with friends and family (57 percent) and pursue new hobbies (50 percent). However, this positive outlook does not translate to their readiness for retirement, as only 19 percent of women feel 'very' or 'extremely confident' about being able to retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

Female homemakers feel less prepared than working women

The survey found that female homemakers feel less prepared for retirement than working women, with 62 percent of homemakers achieving a low Aegon Retirement Readiness Index score compared to 55 percent of working women.

When it comes to savings, only 35 percent of female homemakers say that they always make sure they are saving for retirement compared to 40 percent of working women. And, when it comes to planning, the majority of women do not have a retirement strategy, written or unwritten (45 percent homemakers vs 44 percent of working women).

When it comes to reliance on spouses, women are more likely than men to think of their spouse as a 'very' or 'extremely important' source of financial support during retirement (53 percent for women compared to 34 percent for men).

Says Catherine Collinson, Executive Director of the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, "our research shows a real need for women to plan more for their retirement. Lack of preparedness is common to both genders when it comes to retirement and long term financial security, but our data strongly indicates that it is particularly important that women take positive steps to safeguard their own financial futures."

Retirement Planning Tips

As well as published data, Aegon shares five quick tips toward retirement planning for women:

  • Make a list of retirement goals and aspirations
  • Make a written retirement plan, seeking the advice of a financial planner
  • Keep your job skills up to date
  • Work at least part-time if not currently employed
  • Consider working longer or flexible hours beyond traditional retirement age

Further information

In collaboration with the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement (ACLR), Aegon's non-profit organization the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) has also issued a press release ahead of International Women's Day, based on US data. The study, Sixteen Facts About Women's Retirement Outlook, draws on the 16th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of workers.