Women see retirement goals out of reach

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 12:20 14/02/2013
woman savings
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DISPARITY: Just 39 per cent of women are confident of being on track with retirement saving compared to 56 per cent of men.

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Women are much less confident about meeting their retirement savings goals than men, probably because they live longer and spend more time outside the workforce.

The finding comes from the latest ANZ Retirement Savings Confidence Barometer, a survey of more than 1200 people conducted in November and December.

The quarterly survey showed there was still a large disparity between the sexes, with just 39 per cent of women confident of being on track compared to 56 per cent of men.

"It is a trend we've seen throughout our whole survey," said John Body, managing director of ANZ Wealth and Private Banking.
 
"Partly it's a longevity story, in that women tend to live longer than men. As well as that, women tend to spend more time out of the workforce caring for families."

Body said while women's low confidence was concerning, the men's rate was not much better.

"It's symbolic of the same issue of not enough awareness of the need for retirement savings, and not enough connectivity between retiring for your savings and having a plan about how much you actually need to save to meet your retirement goals."

Surprisingly, despite having time on their side young people aged 15-24 surveyed were less confident about hitting their savings goals than they were in previous surveys.

Body said the lump sum that youngsters were faced with - which could be around half a million to achieve a basic income - was daunting.

But he said it was feasible to achieve for someone who joined KiwiSaver young, contributed regularly, and had an appropriate mix of investments.

"It looks like a big number now, but over a 45-year savings period you are likely to achieve your goals."

Body continued to push ANZ's campaign for a "life-stages" approach to KiwiSaver, which would see younger investors placed in riskier funds to maximise long-term returns.

ANZ's modelling shows that a KiwiSaver contributing to a life-stages fund from age 20 would have about $450,000 at retirement.

That would allow for a weekly retirement income of roughly $450 a week over and above New Zealand Superannuation.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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