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July 15, 2021

Women driven by emotions when planning for retirement: study

Although the share of men and women saving for retirement is roughly the same, the way they plan for retirement differs sharply.

When planning for life after work, women are more affected by emotions and less involved in decision-making, compared to their male counterparts, according to research from Lincoln Financial Group.

While hope and fear affect both genders when it comes to squirelling away money for the future, women are more vulnerable to such emotional influencers.

Seventy-three percent of say they're affected by fear, compared with 59% of male respondents. Hope plays an even more important role for 91% of women and 85% of men.

Unfortunately, women still earn an average of 17% less than men but an even bigger disadvantage is not getting any pension or CPP set aside when they're out of the workforce having children.

The financial cards are also stacked against women because they live longer, and so need a bigger nest egg at retirement.

Women, it turns out, underestimate their future health care costs far more than men, according to another study. When asked how much they expect their out-of-pocket health expenses to total in the future, the projections from female participants were 50% lower than the estimates of their male counterparts.

But most medical experts estimate that the typical woman will actually spend considerably more for health care in retirement than the typical man.

But that type of data should serve women well. The report reveals that 82% of women are influenced by hard facts, less than men (90%) but still a healthy majority, Lincoln notes.

And that's a good thing.

Are you or your partner influenced by your emotions when looking ahead to retirement? One more than the other?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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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...