Women Fear They’ll Have Little Gold in Their Golden Years

Nearly 40 percent of women aged 30 to 55 are worried about spending their retirement years at or near the poverty level because they cannot adequately save for retirement, according to a recent survey.

The National Women’s 2005 Retirement Survey found that women of color are most concerned about their ability to save for retirement. While 53 percent of women of color report that they expect to live at or near the poverty level in their retirement years, just 33 percent of all men expect to face the same dilemma.

The survey was commissioned by the Heinz Family Philanthropies under the direction of Teresa Heinz, founder of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement and chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies.

Here are some of the survey’s other key findings.

* Fifty-two percent of women expect to continue to work once they reach retirement age, including 57 percent of Hispanic women.

* Fifty-four percent of women have little to no money left to save for retirement once they pay their bills, rising to 62 percent among Hispanic and African-American women.

* When asked, “At the present time, do you feel that you are saving enough money for your retirement?” 62 percent of the women surveyed answered “no.” Among women of color, 74 percent of African-American and Hispanic women said they are not saving enough.

* When asked about barriers to saving for retirement, African-American women are more than twice as likely as white women to cite “financial responsibility for adult children or grandchildren” as a reason for not saving for retirement. Of the African-American women supporting their adult children or grandchildren, 63 percent report spending between $100 and $1,000 on them each month.

The Heinz Family Philanthropies commissioned this survey with the Christie Foundation, the Barbara Lee Foundation and others to identify the critical retirement savings issues facing women and to use the data to develop ways to help women secure their financial futures.

The survey polled 1,700 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.


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