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The Real Reason Women Save Less For Retirement Than Men Is Too Typical

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The Real Reason Women Save Less For Retirement Than Men Is Too Typical

By Annamarie Houlis

Some women save less than men on retirement, but a new study has looked at why that it is. The researchers explored the attitudes of women and men toward saving for retirement and found that more men identify saving for retirement a top priority, but it's not necessarily because women don't think it's important.

"Varying financial needs make it difficult for many men and women to build a retirement nest egg," Shane Bartling, senior consultant for Willis Towers Watson said in a prepared statement. "While our survey finds that women place a lower priority on saving for retirement than men do, we believe it’s a question of, 'Am I able to save for retirement?' rather than, 'Is it important to save for retirement?'"

The researchers surveyed 4,983 U.S. workers in July and August of 2017, and the results, compiled in the Willis Towers Watson 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, show that 60 percent of the men involved ranked saving for retirement as their top financial priority. In contrast, only 44 percent of the women surveyed said the same — that's because they had more pressing concerns, such as daily living costs (64 percent) and paying off debt (57 percent), even if they wanted to save for retirement first.

Daily living costs are perhaps more of a burden for more women than men, as women who work full time in the United States are still typically paid just 80 percent of what men are paid — that's a pay gap of 20 percent. And paying off debt is also a major concern for a lot of women, typically more so than for men, as student loan debt, for example, carries gendered implications. The gender pay gap, coupled with the fact that families save and spend more on sons’ educations than daughters’ educations, means that women with student loans tend to pay back their debts slower than their male counterparts.

Add to all that the fact that women have longer life expectancies than men, and that means that women usually have to save more than men, too.

One of the only commonalities that women and men share with regards to feelings on retirement is that they all have declining confidence in their retirement prospects. Fifty-seven percent still feel good about having enough financial resources to live comfortably for 15 years in retirement, but that number is down from 69 percent in 2015. Still just 39 percent of women are confident they’ll have enough resources to last 25 years into retirement, compared to 54 percent of men.

Interventions to ensure that women can make saving for retirement more of a priority might include further budgeting and debt management tools, and encouraging women toward higher default rates in their retirement plans, the researchers suggest.

But perhaps the issue is that we're always placing the burden on women to fix the burden they've already got on their shoulders. Might I add paying women fairly so they don't have to budget better or manage debt more than men, with which they're already tasked? 


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at by night.

This content was originally published by our partners at and can be found by going here.

Tags:  Finance  money  women 

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This Is The Best Retirement Strategy, According To Standford

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, February 7, 2018


This Is The Best Retirement Strategy, According To Standford

Retirement sounds exciting, but only when it also sounds feasible. And, with the decline of traditional pension plans, IRAs and 401(k) plans are the dominating retirement options for workers in America.

Steve Vernon, consulting research scholar at the Standford Center on Longevity set out to determine how you can be sure that you save enough money to last through your retirement and the best possible ways to withdraw your savings over the years. He collaborated with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) on a research project titled, “How to ‘Pensionize’ Any IRA or 401(k) Plan,” to analyze 292 different retirement income strategies and identify a single, straightforward option for middle-income workers.

Of the 292 strategies, the research team identified what they call the “spend safely in retirement strategy”— there are two components to it.

1. Ty to delay Social Security payments until the age of 70. “For middle income people, Social Security is going to be the majority of their income [in retirement],” says Vernon. “It will be anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of their total income. And Social Security is nearly a perfect retirement income generator: It lasts the rest of your life, it protects against inflation, it doesn't go down if the stock market crashes, it's paid automatically into your checking account, part of it isn't subject to income taxes. No other retirement income generator has all of those positive features, so maximizing Social Security is a key part of this strategy.”

The best option is to delay receiving Social Security benefits until the age of 70, Vernon says, or work part-time to cover living expenses until the age of 70. Otherwise, you can also use a portion of your retirement savings to substitute the Social Security benefits you’re delaying.

2. Create an “automatic retirement paycheck.” To supplement Social Security income, Vernon suggests investing any remaining savings in low-cost mutual funds that are common in IRAs and 401(k) plans, such as target date, balanced or stock index funds. You’ll want to generate consistent “paychecks” from your IRA savings and 401(k) that’ll last you the remaining years of your life. You can use the IRS required minimum distribution (RMD) to calculate how much of your retirement savings you’d receive each year.

“This is a strategy that people can use to decide if they've got enough money to retire,” Vernon told CNBC Make It. "But, also, a lot of people are uncertain as to when they'll retire and if they should work part-time for a while, so this strategy can help them think through those questions.:

According to Vernon, the “spend safely in retirement strategy” produces “more average total retirement income expected throughout retirement compared to most solutions [the team] analyzed and provides a lifetime income, no matter how long the participant lives.”

Read the full report here. And, if you think you’ve got your retirement plan all figured out, it’s time to start thinking about where to retire next. For over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated and named the best countries to retire in, and we’ve rounded up the best places to retire based on your dream vacay.


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at by night.

This post was originally published by our partners at

Tags:  money  Research 

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