Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Affluent women worry about outliving money

NEW YORK: Affluent women expect to be more active than their male counterparts in retirement, but they are also more worried about outliving their money, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch study. 

The vast majority of affluent baby boomers, the more than 75 million Americans born from 1946 through 1964, believe their retirement will be more active and prosperous than that of their parents, a quarterly Merrill Lynch survey of 1,000 Americans with at least US$250,000 in investable assets found.

The survey also found that 70 per cent of respondents expect to work, at least part time, to fund that lifestyle.

Affluent women, in particular, expect to keep very busy in the retirement years.

Some 86 per cent of women plan to travel in retirement, compared with two-thirds of men. Nearly two-thirds of women also plan to be involved in their community, vs. only 43 per cent of men.

Women are also more worried about the rising costs of health care and whether they will have enough money to last them through their lifetime. About 70 per cent of the women surveyed said they worried about rising health care costs, compared with 57 per cent of men.

Similarly, 63 per cent of women were worried about their money running out, compared with 52 per cent of men.

Merrill, though, said the survey also revealed that the majority of respondents did not understand the impact of investing conservatively.

Nearly half of the respondents described themselves as "conservative" investors, and two-thirds of those believed that being conservative helped to shield them from losses.

Only a quarter acknowledged that they might also be giving up opportunities for growth during stronger markets.

"These days, investors remain much more concerned about avoiding unnecessary risk ... in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty," said Lyle LaMothe, head of U.S. wealth management for Merrill Lynch. -- Reuters

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