The news is hardly surprising, as there is a significant wage gap in America. While there are exceptions, women generally make $0.77-$0.83 for every dollar their male colleagues earn. That makes it more difficult to save for retirement.
MassMutual's study showed that nearly the same percentage of men and women have retirement plans: 89% for men; 90% for women. But among the 10% of women who do not have retirement savings, 44% said they could not afford one. Just 14% of men said they couldn't afford to save for retirement.
The primary reason men chose not to contribute, according to the study, is because their employer match is not compelling enough – or there is no employer match at all.
"Having a well-developed Retirement Income and Rollover strategy is a critical ingredient in laying the foundation for a successful retirement, defined as achieving one's life goals and objectives without running out of money," says Financial Freedom LLC, a retirement planning and wealth management firm.
With women earning less, reaching those life goals can be a challenge. But more women than men (25% vs 20%) are working with financial planners to help save for the future. More men than women are using life insurance agents or stock brokers.
MassMutual also found that significantly more women are not offered financial education or planning compared to men (60% vs. 51%).
Women face greater challenges with bills and the cost of living, the study shows. Middle class women are more worried about their household finances than their male counterparts. Excessive stress over the family's financial situation is having a negative impact on women's mental health, with many experiencing headaches and difficulty sleeping.
Women are struggling to not only save for retirement, but to save in general. Three in ten men who were surveyed had at least $10,000 in savings, while just two in ten women had that much. About 14% of women said they had virtually no savings.
When it comes to job loss or sudden large expenses, women are less prepared to manage financially. Among those surveyed, 34% of women (26% of men) said their households would not be able to get by if they lost their jobs and were out of work for six months. If the family faced a sudden $5,000 expense, 25% of women said they could not get by, compared to 17% of men.
Women are more likely to use a credit card or borrow from friends/family when dealing with a financial emergency.
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