Women tend to save for retirement at higher rates than men do, but according to a George Washington University study, women of retirement age have less financial stability today than they had a generation ago.
Women who are drawing near retirement today have more debt than their previous counterparts, according to the study, as total debt in constant dollars between 1992 and 2010 has more than doubled.
The study compared women born between 1948 and 1953 (early baby boomers) and 1954 and 1959 (middle baby boomers).
Only 12% of working women are "very confident" that they will be able to retire comfortably while another 46% of women are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" about their retirement nest egg.
Add that to time taken out to have a family, and women tend to have an uphill battle when it comes to saving for retirement. Another issue is the fact that women tend to live longer than men, meaning that they will need to have more stashed away in order to be comfortable.
The median retirement savings among working women is $34,000, according to Transamerica. Women polled by the institute said that they believe that $500,000 would be enough to last through retirement.
The institute says that retirees can safely withdraw about 4% of savings annually on average, which translates to about $20,000 a year in income based on the $500,000 number. The average Social Security recipient gets about $17,000 a year in benefits currently.
However, adults 65 and older spend almost $46,000 a year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Couple that with the fact that the average 65-year old woman will spend $214,000 on medical expenses alone, and $500,000 may not be enough to live comfortably during retirement.
In fact, the top reason for post-retirement bankruptcy is medically related.
Women have a lot of things working against them when it comes to retirement. Saving early and often is the best way to ensure a smooth retirement, according to the data.
TheStreet's Robert Powell is America's leading expert on retirement. Listen to one of his latest podcasts below.