There has long been disparate rates in retirement savings between men and women due to the gender wage gap. Now, according to findings from TIAA’s Financial Wellness Survey, the pandemic has made it harder to bridge that divide.
After polling 3,008 Americans ages 18 and older on a range of financial management topics, the survey findings pointed out that only about one in three women (31%) are saving for retirement, compared to 44% of men. The findings also revealed that more men (35%) feel confident they’re on track to live comfortably throughout retirement without running out of money, compared to 19% of women.
“Women now face a greater risk of either not being able to retire or running out of money when they do,” said Snezana Zlatar, TIAA’s head of Advice Solutions in a news release. “The more this problem grows, the less we can make progress for women and society overall.”
80% of men have saved at least some money for retirement, compared to 63% of women. That skews differently than the 2017 data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). It measured whether men and women ages 55 to 66 had any personal retirement savings and found a difference of only 3 percentage points.
Also, while both groups said they would like to work with financial planners or investment advisors, only 22% of women do, compared to 36% of men, underscoring the need for progress in equity.
“It’s particularly urgent that women understand the numerous headwinds they face ahead of retirement so they can take mitigating action as early as possible,” Zlatar said in a statement. “There are different ways for women to get help, such as participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans and financial wellness programs, and contributing to guaranteed lifetime income solutions to help avoid running out of money in retirement.”