Why Women Have More Retirement Fears Than Men
Life + Money

Why Women Have More Retirement Fears Than Men

Women are more worried than men are about every aspect of retirement planning and preparation. That’s according to a new study by Allsup, a Social Security claims company.

The differences show markedly in four key areas: the future of Medicare coverage (63 percent women versus 59 percent men), paying for long-term care (46 percent versus 39 percent), paying for health care (43 percent versus 38 percent), and outliving their retirement funds (40 percent versus 35 percent). Researchers surveyed 1,000 seniors age 65 and older.

There may be good reasons for women to be more concerned, as it turns out.


“Women are more likely to live longer, have fewer financial resources, and rely on Social Security as their primary source of income in retirement, so their financial risks are greater as they age,” Mary Dale Walters, senior vice president of Allsup Medicare Advisors, said in a statement. “Living longer usually means greater health care expenses in retirement, such as [paying] more premiums.”

A woman turning 65 today can expect to live until age 86 on average – two years longer than a 65-year-old man. One in every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90.

In addition, women save less for retirement. Women save an average of 6.9 percent of their pay for retirement, compared to 7.6 percent socked away by men, according to an analysis last month by Aon Hewitt.

Since women in general make less money than men, the savings gap is even wider.

Overall, the average 401(k) plan balance for women is $59,300, versus $100,000 for men. The analysis looked at more than 140 defined contribution plans representing 3.5 million eligible employees.