Broker Check

Women & Money Statistics

  • Three out of five women over 65 cannot afford to cover their basic needs  
  • Only 7 percent of women are “very confident” in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle. 
  • 43 percent of women expect to work past age 70 or do not plan to retire. 
  • [65% of] Baby Boomer women do not have a backup plan if forced into retirement sooner than expected.  
  • 53 percent expect to self-fund their retirement through 401(k) or other savings and investments.  
  • Of women who have or plan to take time out of the workforce to be a caregiver, 74 percent believe that it will negatively impact their ability to save for retirement.  
  • 6 percent is the median contribution of women who participate in their employer’s plan.  
  • 55 percent are saving for retirement outside of work in an IRA, mutual fund, bank account, etc.  
  • The majority (59 percent) of women who estimate their financial need guess what their retirement savings needs would be rather than using a calculator or advisor.  
  • Only 35 percent of women use a professional financial advisor, most (79 percent) doing so for retirement investment recommendations.  
  • Women earned 78.3 cents for every dollar men earned in 2013, a Census Bureau report released Tuesday [9/16/14] showed. That compares to 76.5 cents a year earlier.  
  • Because of maternity and family leaves, which total about 13 years, retired women will receive about half the pension benefits retired men will receive. 
  • Between ages 75 and 84, more than 60 percent of women are single or widowed.  That number jumps to 87 percent after age 85. 
  • With the death of a spouse,  women often suffer a large drop in income.  
  • Social security replaces only about 40 percent of a workers’ prior wages.  
  • Women today earn the majority of doctorates and master’s degrees and nearly sixty percent of  U.S. college students are women.  
  • Just one-third of women have a detailed financial plan in place, and, among the youngest segment (ages 25-34), just one in 10 has a financial plan in place.  
  • Eighty-six percent of women do not know how to invest or choose a financial product.  
  • Only 47% are confident talking money and investments with a professional. 
  • 60% worry about having enough money to last through retirement.  
  • 8/10 confessed they have refrained from having financial conversations.  
  • 74% are proactive about saving money for the future  
  • 92% are eager to learn about financial planning  
  • Women, on average, earn 76% of what men earn, resulting in an average lifetime earnings differential of $250,000 
  • Social Security is the only source of income for 25 percent of unmarried women  
  • Women spend 27 years in the work force while men work almost 40 years. Yet a woman who reaches 65 can expect to live until 84 or 85, about four years longer than a man. 


Source:  Analysis of U.S. Census data by Wider Opportunities for Women 

Source: 14th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers (2014) 

Source: Wall Street Journal

Source: What Women Need to Know About Retirement: A joint project of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement 

Source: Time magazine, “Women, Money and Power,” 3/26/12. 

Source: Financial Experience &Behaviors Among Women, 2010−2011 Prudential Research Study.

Source: Fidelity Investments Money FIT Women Study, February 2015 

Source: WISER Publications