Women Are Looking Forward to Retirement More Than Men Are

Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013

Despite starting with less savings than men at retirement, and needing to fund more retirement years than their male counterparts, women are optimistic about their golden years, according to a new survey by investment adviser firm Financial Engines.

“While women have to plan for living longer and often start out retirement with less accumulated wealth due to absences from the workforce, our survey found that they are more comfortable with themselves as they get older and want to do more in retirement,” Kelly O’Donnell, executive vice president at Financial Engines, said in a statement.

Fifty-one percent of women said they’re excited about retiring, compared with 41 percent of men. Women’s enthusiasm is understandable when you consider that “women looking forward to retirement are most excited about spending more time with family and friends (74 percent), travel (58 percent), pursuing a favorite hobby or passion (56 percent) and volunteering (44 percent),” Financial Engines said. Nearly half (48 percent) said they also looked forward to sleeping in.

“After spending their lives working, raising kids, and often acting as caregivers to aging parents, many women see retirement as some much-needed and well-deserved ‘me time,’” O’Donnell said.

The survey found that although they’re excited to retire, 1 in 4 women reported feeling anxious about their finances in the future, regardless of the money they currently earn.

Their biggest financial concerns are rising health care costs (44 percent), running out of money (43 percent) and Social Security going bankrupt (30 percent).

They have reason to worry about having enough money. Financial Engines said the median 401(k) account balance for women 60 and older is $43,000, compared with $84,000 for men.

Women need to make sound financial decisions in retirement. For instance, if you claim your Social Security too early, you could miss out on “as much as $100,000 or more in benefits for individuals and $250,000 or more for married couples,” the study said.

This video by Money Talks News’ Stacy Johnson offers other retirement planning tips for women.

Other survey findings include:

  • Aging gracefully. Women (29 percent) are less worried than men (40 percent) about getting older.
  • Twiddling thumbs. Men (25 percent) are more concerned than their female counterparts (20 percent) about getting bored in retirement.

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