NEW SURVEY PAINTS HARROWING PICTURE OF U.S. WOMEN’S ROAD TO RETIREMENT
Social Security Seen By Many as Retirement’s “White Knight”
Retirement Accounts Prematurely Drained to Meet Expenses
Trump, Kennedy 2024 Get Tepid Thumbs-Up from Women, But Most “Not Interested”
in Any Potential Presidential Hopeful Regardless of Party
Pittsburgh, PA, September 12, 2023 – A new survey reveals a bleak outlook for the retirement prospects of countless American working women, with many saying retirement is completely off the table as financial necessity is compelling them to continue working during what under normal circumstances would be their retirement years. The “Women’s Road to Retirement” survey was commissioned by IRALOGIX, a retirement industry fintech provider, and took place late July through late August 2023.
“Given what we already know about Americans’ retirement readiness, we hypothesized the survey’s results would point to women being largely unprepared for retirement, reflecting the general trends of low savings and diminished confidence that retirement savings will last as long as needed,” said Lowell Smith, IRALOGIX co-founder and a noted authority on retirement issues. “What we weren’t expecting was the gravity of the situation. As many as seven in every ten women surveyed were certain their savings won’t last the length of their retirement, driving almost half of the respondents to consider relinquishing their independence and moving in with family members to save on expenses.”
- 71% of women surveyed will outlive their retirement savings.
- 48% will deplete their savings between four and seven years into retirement.
- 30% only have enough money to last between one and three years.
- 7% have sufficient savings to last their entire retirement, no matter how long it may be.
- 60% had to “frequently choose” between covering essential expenses and putting money into their retirement savings.
- 55% are relying on Social Security to help fund their retirement.
- 50% of those depending on Social Security require 41% to 60%-plus of their total retirement income (excluding any government financial assistance) from Social Security to make ends meet.
- 53% have to work in retirement out of financial need.
- Other reasons include personal fulfillment; staying mentally active; healthcare benefits; and social interaction.
- 53% don’t have a backup plan if their retirement savings fall short of expectations.
- 49% are considering moving in with their adult children/family members to save on retirement expenses.
- 44% pointed to the high cost of living as the primary challenge to saving more for retirement.
- 28% blame themselves for not having started saving sooner.
- Other reasons include healthcare costs and medical expenses; lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; and career breaks for childcare or caring for aging family members.
- Weighing in on the road to the White House, 21% of women who consider themselves Republican tapped Donald Trump as their pick, with Ron DeSantis in second place at 12%. In what may be a harbinger of things to come on election day, 47% cited “none of the above” when given the choice of presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump; Ron DeSantis; Nikki Haley; Mike Pence; Tim Scott; and Chris Christie.
With 17%, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., garnered the most Democratic nods from the survey’s respondents, closely followed by Bernie Sanders at 16%, from a list comprising Kamala Harris; Pete Buttigieg; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; J.B. Pritzker; Bernie Sanders; and Amy Klobuchar. 41% of Democratic women selected “none of the above” in response to the question.
- 59% don’t know how much money they’ll need in retirement, don’t have a plan to put aside any retirement money, or are struggling to live on their current income so they can’t think about retirement savings.
- Asked what advice they’d give their younger self/younger women about saving for retirement 54% said “start saving much earlier.” Other advice included:
- Set realistic and achievable retirement savings goals and maintain them; when looking for a new job, ensure the company offers good retirement benefits and make the most of them; and seek out experts to help educate you about saving for retirement.
- Some out-of-“left field” guidance included “work just to live in the present and enjoy yourself – don’t worry about retirement,” followed by “don’t bother saving for retirement, it’s an outdated concept and most people can’t afford to retire comfortably anyway.”
- 43% are unprepared for the impact financial emergencies, like a job loss or medical expense, could have on their retirement savings.
- When asked to rate on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible outcome, the quality of their retirement life compared to when they were working, 35% of responses fell between #1 and #4. Just 3% chose #10, indicating a quality of retirement life comparable with their working years.
- Once retired, 35% won’t be able to meet debts accrued during their working years.
- 34% don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
- 34% would consider guaranteeing some of their retirement savings so they don’t outlive their money, with 48% of those saying they’d guarantee 20%.
- 29% said they’ll just “wing it” when it comes to future pressures on their retirement savings like supporting aging parents or contributing to a child’s/grandchild’s education.
- 22% emptied their employer-sponsored retirement account to meet non-retirement expenses.
“Compared to women from many other countries, countless American working women are being denied viable, dignified retirements for a variety of reasons highlighted by the survey, with some of these being fixable in the short- and medium-term,” notes Smith. “It’s incumbent on us in the financial industry to do a better job of reaching women as early as possible in their careers with education and guidance specifically geared to women instead of today’s one-size-fits-all approach. “And, employers need to ensure their employees have access to a corporate retirement plan so that future generations of women won’t have to trudge this same difficult, disappointing path.”
The survey of 228 respondents was conducted online from late July through late August 2023 on behalf of IRALOGIX. Respondents were drawn from a national sample of women ages 30-60 with household incomes of $0 – $200,000 plus. To schedule an interview, or for questions about the survey, please contact Scott Sunshine.
IRALOGIX is redefining the $13 trillion IRA marketplace through its industry-leading technology-enabled, fully paperless, white-label IRA record-keeping and technology solutions. The company’s proprietary technology solutions enable any financial institution to easily customize its IRA offering and compete effectively in all segments of the IRA market, regardless of account size. Through modular technology, institutional clients have the choice to use their internal investment or advisory capabilities or select from key industry-leading providers. IRALOGIX complements your market strategy, streamlines your IRA service options, and helps you expand your business across all segments of the industry, profitably. For more information, please visit www.iralogix.com.