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The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement, and the Extra-Long Life: Implications for Planning – 2011

Overview

American women tend to live longer than men, which often brings with it extra burdens associated with stretching finances, living alone, increased health care expenditures, and necessary long-term care. MetLife, in partnership with the Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University, conducted this study to uncover aging women’s views on retirement.

Key Points

This study looks at differences, and ultimately challenges, of women’s retirement compared to men. Overall, women’s participation in the labor force has increased dramatically, by over 20 percent from 1963 to 2008, and women have also enhanced their earning power through education and professional strides. Regardless, there are still life circumstances that remain challenges for women when planning for retirement.

Other study highlights include:

  1. In 2009, the average retirement income for men 65+ was $37,509; women’s income was just 57 percent of that amount, or $21,519.
  2. Women in general have greater concerns about their retirement security yet do less than needed to plan for adequately addressing those concerns.
  3. Women’s main concerns for the future include health care costs, long-term care costs, and adequacy of income and resources to support themselves to the end of their lives.
  4. Both women and men feel that they have all the information they need to plan for retirement.

How to Use

Local leaders can use the data presented in this document to educate residents on the challenges of retirement, especially for women. Additionally, this study provides a variety of reasons why women need to take control of their retirement planning, as well as a list of resources available to them during this process.

View full report: The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement, and the Extra-Long Life: Implications for Planning – 2011 (PDF – 953 KB)