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Women Retiring with Less Money Than Men

Published Thursday Sep 10, 2009

Women are content retiring with less money saved for retirement than men, according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of TD AMERITRADE.

The survey, which included responses from employed men and women, found 73 percent of women are comfortable accumulating less than $1 million in savings before retirement, compared to 63 percent of men. The survey also found only 22 percent of women would like to accumulate $1 million or more in savings before retirement, compared to 32 percent of men. Additionally,
twice as many men (12%) as women (5%) will strive to accumulate at least $5 million in savings before retiring.

Additional findings from the survey include:

68 percent of men expect to live a comfortable lifestyle when they stop working, where you live modestly and can afford some luxuries, compared to 58 percent of women.

29 percent of women expect to have a downscale lifestyle when they stop working, where you can pay the bills and remain independent, compared to 22 percent of men.

When asked how confident they were in achieving their targeted amounts in retirement savings, 79 percent of men responded that they were confident, compared to 66 percent of women.

When asked what they expect will be their biggest challenges in retirement, both men and women reported "being able to afford rising health care costs" as their number one challenge.

"The volatility of the markets in recent years seems to have had a lasting impact on women when it comes to retirement planning. Their confidence has been bruised, and they've become even more cautious when it comes to their finances," said Diane Young, director, retirement and goal planning, TD AMERITRADE.

"This instability should actually serve as a motivator for women," said Young. "The key is to do everything you can to understand your current financial situation and plan accordingly to make sure your assets will last in retirement. And since women tend to live longer than men, it's vital that they implement financial plans that will last for the duration of their post-retirement years."

Young recommends investors pursue the following options to adequately prepare for retirement:

Take advantage of the retirement saving/investing vehicles your employer has to offer, such as 401(k) or 403(b) plans.

If you are not employed, seek out local resources in your community for retirement planning guidance or go online for additional information.

Explore your options to ensure your plan is suitable to your needs.

Identify a friend who would like to learn more about retirement planning and vow to plan together.

Join or start a local investment club to surround yourself with other like-minded investors.

Determine whether your investment firm or bank offers seminars or other educational content to help you plan for the future.

Ask a professional to review your portfolio to determine if you're properly diversified for your goals.

To assess your level of retirement preparedness using your projected retirement savings and expenses, check out TD AMERITRADE's WealthRuler, which is free to everyone.

For more information and story ideas on women and investing, check out the TD AMERITRADE Spotlight.

Survey Methodology Results are based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, NJ on behalf of TD AMERITRADE. 801 adults who are age 21 or older and employed full- or part-time, self-employed or retired, participated in a telephone survey conducted May 28-31, 2009. Survey participants across the country were asked to share their views on how the current economic environment has affected their lifestyle and outlook. The margin of error in this survey is 3%. This means that in 19 cases out of 20, survey results based on 801
respondents will differ by no more than 3 percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking the opinions of all eligible US adults who are 21 years of age or older and employed full-time, part-time, self-employed or retired. Opinion Research Corporation and TD AMERITRADE are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for
each other's products and services.

About ORC Opinion Research Corporation is a global market research firm with expertise in IT and telecom, health care, financial services, public services and consumer behavior. For more
information, visit


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