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April 27, 2021

Why women need to save more than men for retirement

It's no secret that women have more trouble than men in successfully securing their retirement, largely due to smaller salaries, less time in the workforce, lower lifetime earnings and inconsistent retirement savings.

Generally speaking, the woman in the family is usually younger than her partner and is more likely to have more gaps in her employment history since women's careers are frequently interrupted to raise children.

So it may not be that great a surprise to hear that one area where men seem to be winning out is retirement confidence, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reports.

According to EBRI’s research, men are more likely than women to say they’re very confident that they will have saved enough to live comfortably throughout retirement and are equally sure about having enough money to take care of basic expenses and medical costs.

While confidence is part of the equation when saving for retirement, having a realistic idea of how much is needed in retirement is also key.

Women seem to lose out in this arena as well, with 35% of women believing they will need less than $250,000 for retirement, compared to 26% of men, despite the fact that women live longer and tend to have higher healthcare costs.

In addition, women (12%) are more likely than men (5%) to say they do not know how much they’ll actually need to save, EBRI reports.

When it comes to actually saving for retirement, gender doesn’t seem to have as big an impact though. Men and women are equally likely to say they’ve currently saving for retirement.

The good news: Women are statistically as likely as men to have a job that offers a work place retirement savings plan and to contribute to it, according to EBRI -- a major change compared to even a decade ago.

Do men and women view retirement that differently? Are you confident that you're on track? Or do you even look that far ahead?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...