view transcript

Robert Powell:
I'm a big fan of MIT's age lab and Joe Coughlin's work. Anyone familiar with his work by chance? Couple people. Yeah. Joe, in his latest book The Longevity Economy talks about meeting the needs of a growing population, but in that book he also talks about, I think what is perhaps the biggest trend that we haven't talked about, which is that this will become the century of women, of females, and that they'll be ... Women will take over the world.

Bruce Wolfe:
I thought they already have ... Maybe just in terms of specific numbers but, I think ...

Robert Powell:
Right.

Bruce Wolfe:
Many of us who are married, that's a well known fact already.

Robert Powell:
Women will outlive men, they will outnumber us in both ... Whatever. We have 10 minutes left, we'll answer this one last question then we'll take questions from the audience. Any thoughts about the age of women? And, what to expect in terms of the future?

Bruce Wolfe:
My thoughts on women, would be a couple. One as relates to finances, we haven't really talked a lot about it, I know you have other panelists. A lot of my expertise is around retirement, retirement income strategies. But, when you think about women and you look at the information about them, there's a lot of very interesting statistics that will, I think kind of play out. Right? For one, they're more conservative, they're more process oriented than men are. And so, I think that will start to have implications on say your business. And certainly the business of financial advisors as they start to more and more deal with the female side of the house in a sense, in terms of managing assets. So I think that is sort of one big piece.

Bruce Wolfe:
I think the other big dynamic around women, and we're starting to see that is there's been salary discrepancies, and basically the gender inequities that have been out there. I think that is starting to get rectified, which certainly it should of probably 10, 20, 30 years ago. I think the interesting dynamic in that, is one of the reasons that there's been an inequity is that women have to leave the workforce, or many of them do when they have children. And so, I think it's going to be very interesting to see about how that gets rectified.

Bruce Wolfe:
I think that actually dovetails into the broader context of what I talked about earlier, in that people in general are going to be entering and exiting the workforce over their whole life versus following, as I said at the beginning, that preplanned go to school, work and retire. And so, I think actually that will play well towards this kind of unique dynamic associated with women, particularly when they start to have children. I think it will become more common for individuals to kind of come and go from the workforce, come and go back to school, well into their 70s and 80s. And so, I think that actually will kind of work well as it relates to this gender difference that we seen.

Roger Ma:
Yeah, I think there already a lot of companies are already offering that flexibility of a large amount of maternity leave for women to leave and come back. I think they also put it on par where they're giving men more paternity leave as well, and making them take it. So, it's not seen as a negative that you feel this pressure to rush back. I think there'll be that added flexibility.

Roger Ma:
I think the other interesting dynamic is that, it's not longer just the case that the man is the bread winner. Women are becoming more and more the bread winner as well, so that's an interesting dynamic that I'm seeing, so ...

Jack VanDerhei:
Yeah, we modeled exactly the components that Bruce talked about, and even if you look at the youngest cohort we model, 35 to 39, the average retirement deficit for single male would be $36 thousand. The average retirement deficit for a single female is almost twice that, $70 thousand. Even if they're married at retirement, you have a big difference between widows and widowers. What with found would be one of the most important changes, I talked about auto portability in opening comments, the fact that when single females change jobs, they are much more likely, oftentimes because their account balances are smaller, they've been there for shorter period of time, or their wages are lower, they're much more likely to cash out those balances. If something like auto portability became universal, and we'd have to talk about safe harbors et cetera, et cetera, but we found that as much as a 38% decrease in retirement deficits could actually play through the system, and you would find that they'd have much more money obviously available when they finally did retire.

Retirement is scary. And women may have more reason to be fearful. According to numerous studies, they are living longer, making and saving less money than their male counterparts.

And, so, it's no surprise that the topic came up at TheStreet's Retirement, Taxes & Income Strategies Symposium held recently in New York City. Sixteen of the top retirement experts joined Retirement Daily editor Robert Powell, who is often referred to as "Mr. Retirement". He was joined by 16 leading retirement experts for an all day to help a packed room of attendees prepare for the lifestyle everyone wants in retirement.

Watch the video above as Bruce Wolfe, Principal at C.S. Wolfe & Associates, Roger Ma, Founder of lifelaidout and Jack VanDerhei, Director of Research, Employee Benefit Research Institute join Powell to discuss the challenges facing women in retirement.

Video Transcript:

Powell says, " I think what is perhaps the biggest trend that we haven't talked about, which is that this will become the century of women, of females, and that they'll be ... Women will take over the world.

Powell, "Women will outlive men, they will outnumber us in both ... Whatever. We have 10 minutes left, we'll answer this one last question then we'll take questions from the audience. Any thoughts about the age of women? And, what to expect in terms of the future?"

Wolfe says, "... when you think about women and you look at the information about them, there's a lot of very interesting statistics that will, I think kind of play out. For one, they're more conservative, they're more process oriented than men are. And so, I think that will start to have implications on say your business. And certainly the business of financial advisors as they start to more and more deal with the female side of the house in a sense, in terms of managing assets."

Pay Gap for Women

Wolfe says, "I think the other big dynamic around women, and we're starting to see that is there's been salary discrepancies, and basically the gender inequities that have been out there. I think that is starting to get rectified, which certainly it should of probably 10, 20, 30 years ago. I think the interesting dynamic in that, is one of the reasons that there's been an inequity is that women have to leave the workforce, or many of them do when they have children. And so, I think it's going to be very interesting to see about how that gets rectified."

"I think it will become more common for individuals to kind of come and go from the workforce, come and go back to school, well into their 70s and 80s. And so, I think that actually will kind of work well as it relates to this gender difference that we seen."

Ma says "Yeah, I think there already a lot of companies are already offering that flexibility of a large amount of maternity leave for women to leave and come back. I think they also put it on par where they're giving men more paternity leave as well, and making them take it. So, it's not seen as a negative that you feel this pressure to rush back. I think there'll be that added flexibility"

VanDerhei says, "...we modeled exactly the components that Bruce talked about, and even if you look at the youngest cohort we model, 35 to 39, the average retirement deficit for single male would be $36 thousand. The average retirement deficit for a single female is almost twice that, $70 thousand."

Need help preparing for retirement? Check out Retirement Daily.