Women have not done much to prepare for retirement even though they are more concerned than men about the potential risks they face, according to a new study by LIMRA, an industry-funded research group.
The study found that even though two-thirds of women were not confident that they would be able to live their chosen retirement lifestyle, only 26% spend time investigating financial products that could help them.
“Even though six in 10 women are concerned they aren’t saving enough to last throughout their retirement, we see few women taking steps to mitigate for this risk,” Cecilia Shiner, senior analyst for LIMRA retirement research, said in a statement.
LIMRA found that only a third of women said they were actively involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings compared with 46% for men. Almost a third, 32%, had done no retirement planning at all compared with 28% for men.
There was also a significant perceived knowledge gap between men and women, with 33% of women saying they were knowledgeable about financial products and services. In contrast, more than half of the men, 55%, said they were knowledgeable.
Greater knowledge led to greater engagement, according to the findings. Nearly twice as many women (60%) who said they felt knowledgeable about financial products were actively involved in monitoring and managing their retirement savings and more than half were confident that they would be able to achieve the retirement lifestyle they want.
Alison Salka, LIMRA corporate vice president and director of Retirement Research, urged the industry to educate and engage women, noting that approximately 16.6 million women are within 10 years of retirement. “Our research reveals that many of them are financially unprepared for retirement and because of their lack of knowledge and understanding of our products and services, are not taking the steps to reduce the risk that they run out of money in retirement,” she said in a statement.
The study was based on a survey of 3,763 non-retired adults in the U.S. It was conducted in May.