4 Out of 5 Older Women Flunk Retirement Income Literacy Quiz

There's a disconnect between men and women about who makes the household's financial decisions -- and it can be costly for women.

4 Out of 5 Older Women Flunk Retirement Income Literacy Quiz Photo by StockLite / Shutterstock.com

Women might be better investors than men, but they fared worse on a recent retirement income literacy quiz.

The 38-question test is part of a study commissioned by the American College of Financial Services. The nonprofit educational institution describes it as “a basic quiz on how to make a nest egg last in retirement.” It’s also the most detailed and technical financial literacy quiz I’ve seen in recent years.

Unfortunately, women who are at retirement’s door failed it miserably.

Only 18 percent of retirement-age women were considered to have passed the test, while 35 percent of retirement-age men passed. Questions on the topic of annuity products in retirement were the most likely to trip up women and men alike.

The quiz was part of a broader survey of more than 1,200 Americans who are ages 60 to 75 and have at least $100,000 in household assets, excluding their primary home.

Jocelyn Wright, an assistant professor of women’s studies at the American College of Financial Services, says of the findings:

“Women face considerable challenges when it comes to preparing for retirement, and lacking financial literacy certainly does not help the cause. This is a problem, especially when a female at age 65 can expect to live another 20 years on average, two years longer than the average man. With this in mind, women cannot depend on their spouse to hold the keys to their retirement.”

However, that’s exactly what some women appear to be doing. For example, The American College’s survey found that only 46 percent of women look up financial information online at least once a year, compared with 61 percent of men.

If you aren’t reviewing your finances yearly, be sure to check out:

Additionally, the survey revealed an apparent disconnect between the genders when it comes to who makes financial decisions. The American College notes:

“Men tend to think they are the primary decision maker while women tend to believe that they split the decision-making.”

More specifically, only 35 percent of men say they share decision-making with their spouse, but 80 percent of women say they share decision-making.

Ladies, whatever the case might be in your household, don’t miss “Retirement Planning — It’s Different for Women.” It will take you step by step through the process of preparing your finances for retirement.

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