For your next client meeting, you might want to ensure you’re effectively relieving worries about finances—more so if your client is a woman. A new survey reveals what those specific worries are and how advisors can help.
Fully half of Canadian working-age women worry they won’t have enough money in retirement for medical or care expenses, compared to 43% of men, finds a survey by HSBC. And almost half worry they won’t have enough income to pay for basic living needs if they or their partners must retire early due to ill health. That compares to 40% of working-age men.
Overall, two-fifths (44%) of all Canadian women surveyed fear they’ll struggle to pay for basic necessities in retirement, compared to 37% of men.
More worry on the part of women might be warranted, considering slightly more women than men rely on their spouse’s incomes or pensions in retirement (43% versus 39%), and more women than men rely on financial support in retirement from children (16% versus 6%).
Also, the survey highlights that women are more likely to take career breaks to look after children, which affects earnings and subsequent retirement savings. In fact, one-quarter of Canadian working-age women haven’t contributed as much money toward retirement as have their partners due to time off for childcare.
Despite the reasons for worry and its validity, much of it can likely be relieved by advisors: the survey finds that many women don’t know if they’re on track financially or not.
For example, more than half of Canadian working-age women (51%) don’t know how much they’re saving for retirement or haven’t started saving at all, compared to 38% of working-age men.
Also, nearly two-fifths of Canadian women (38%) don’t know what proportion of pre-retirement income they need for a financially comfortable retirement, compared to 23% of Canadian men.
On a positive note, women are more likely than men to look forward to new beginnings in retirement, with more than three-quarters of working-age women (77%) saying they look forward to pursuing hobbies, and a further 58% saying retirement is a time for rediscovery of the self. For men, those figures are 70% and 52%, respectively.
Women also express less pessimism about life after the death of their partners, with 18% of retired Canadian women saying life wouldn’t be worth living without their partners, compared to 37% of retired Canadian men.
For more details, read the full report.
About the survey: More than 17,400 people in 16 countries and territories—including 1,005 Canadians—were surveyed online by Ipsos MORI in November and December 2017.