Women face concerns about reaching retirement goals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 15, 2012

(BPT) – Women today exude confidence, juggling work and home life responsibilities seamlessly. One area where they are not so sure of themselves though is their ability to maintain their standard of living during retirement.

While women are taking greater responsibility for their own and their families’ finances, women earning more than $50,000 per year have become less confident about maintaining their lifestyle in retirement, according to a recent study.  Prudential Financial’s latest biennial study on the “Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women” shows that a majority of women doubt their ability to achieve their retirement goals. The study also shows that with women in more control than ever of their finances, they face significant challenges when it comes to financial decision making, and admit to a lack of knowledge about financial solutions that can help them.

So what’s really behind this lack of financial confidence? Research points to a few culprits, including the country’s financial downturn. As many as 30 percent of women surveyed are struggling to make ends meet, a situation which can psychologically undermine even the most financially savvy among us.

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The study also found a difference in the level of confidence between women younger than 35 and female baby boomers. Both groups have clearly defined financial goals, but younger women see themselves as novice investors and feel ill-equipped to make important financial decisions. Amid all this uncertainty, women of all ages are encouraged to begin taking baby steps toward planning for a secure retirement. The good news is some of the best confidence-boosters are fairly simple:

* Take stock. How much have you saved already? How long do you plan to work? Will having children impact your ability to save for the future? Getting a clear picture of where you are will help you see where you need to go.

* Protect yourself. If you are married, have you and your spouse established adequate financial safeguards such as life insurance or long term care insurance? While these conversations can be difficult, they are an important aspect of a solid financial plan.

* Do your homework. The Internet offers a wealth of educational materials to help you build confidence and knowledge when it comes to financial products and services. Make use of online tools and checklists to help you prepare for a meeting with a financial professional. Then take the next step and make an appointment.

To learn more and to find a qualified financial professional near you, go to www.prudential.com/women. The site includes helpful life-stage checklists, easy-to-understand guides to financial products and services, and first-person financial accounts that provide encouragement and support.

Taking action can help boost your confidence and give you the tools you need to secure your financial future.