Pandemic life has had a myriad of impacts on the lives of individuals, but women have taken the great brunt of the new work-from-home lifestyle. In the shuffle of caring for families and managing work life in the midst of pandemic life, women are feeling increasingly less confident about their retirement.
Working women are typically responsible for ensuring the needs of their households are met, including tending to children, virtual schooling, and elderly parents. Amidst the juggling of life responsibilities while also working, women feel increasingly less confident regarding their retirement plans than men, blogs Amelia Dunlap, lead for the retirement solutions marketing organization of Nationwide.
A recent survey by the Nationwide Retirement Institute found that 18% of women, nearly one in five, reported that they think they aren’t on the correct path for retirement, with roughly the same percentage reporting that they have delayed retirement because of the pandemic.
The survey also found that fewer women have hit retirement planning milestones, such as saving money in emergency funds, or having a 401(k) or IRA, and those women that do have a 401(k) or IRA generally do not increase their contributions nearly as often as men.
“Firms who sponsor workplace retirement plans are also recognizing the adverse effects that the pandemic has had on women’s retirement confidence,” writes Dunlap. “Of the plan sponsors included in our recent survey, 70% said they believe women are more likely than men to have been financially impacted by the pandemic.”
Advisors Play a Critical Role in Retirement Planning for Women
Of the women who had delayed retirement, two-thirds said that they had already changed how they approached saving for retirement, with 48% reporting that they were interested in retirement income-generating solutions. Women tend to trust financial advisors when it comes to retirement planning more often than men (77% compared to 70%), and women rely on financial advisors as their primary source for retirement income planning and options.
For women who still have a long runway before retirement, the focus should be on growing wealth, which includes investing with growth as the goal, and diversification to help manage risk while maximizing savings. For women with retirement on the near horizon, the focus should be oriented to guaranteed lifetime income investments through retirement plans and other means and decumulation.
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