Retirement Confidence Survey Highlights Marital Status and Gender Differences in Retirement Planning and Savings

Retirement Confidence Survey

The recently published 26th annual Retirement Confidence Survey looked at marital status to see if there any differences between married versus unmarried people in terms of saving for retirement.  The results were clear:  Eight in ten married people are more like to save – much more so than their unmarried counterparts. No matter how one may analyze the data and try to find reasons why this is the case, upshot, married people are savers.  In fact, the survey reported that unmarried people often have less than $1,000 in their retirement savings.

In addition, the Retirement Confidence Survey showed that married workers are more likely to have money in a defined contribution (DC) plan and married workers also are more likely to have accumulated $250,000 for retirement.

The report also demonstrated that married workers are indeed planners.  They are 56% more likely to try and calculate their needs for retirement, than unmarried workers.  However, this is not to say that unmarried do not save or plan for retirement – it’s just less than married workers.

Examining the results of the Retirement Confidence Survey further, it was found that single women are more unlikely to think they need to accumulate at least $250,000 to retire.  This was surprising considering women tend to live longer than men, and as such, will need more assets to live comfortably.

At our company, we are seeing trends suggesting that retirement planners are open to exploring alternative products beyond traditional retirement savings accounts holding stocks and bonds.  For example, many clients hold annuities and other insurance-related products. Clients are also exploring the potential of a precious metals IRA to diversify their retirement portfolio with non-correlated assets that tend to hold their value during times of economic stress.

In terms of age of retirement, the Retirement Confidence Survey did not find any statistically significant figures at which workers plan to retire.  The results showed a median expected range of age 65 for all groups surveyed.  However, 15% of unmarried women are more likely to say they will live to 95 versus 9% of unmarried men.

In terms of what assets people need to retire, both unmarried women and tend to think social security will play a large part in their retirement. When it came to asking about working through retirement, married men are the least likely to say that employment will be a major source of income in retirement (11 percent vs. 26 percent of unmarried men, 23 percent of unmarried women, and 17 percent of married women), according to the Retirement Confidence Survey.

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