Showcasing the Impact of Women in Reshaping Economies and Culture

March 2016

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 and U.S. Women’s History Month, we have explored women as investors, as advisors, and as leaders. In 2016, our focus turns to women and retirement. For women, the questions of retirement are quite complex. At BNY Mellon, we are invested in helping women make smart moves on their path to retirement at every stage of life.

The Retirement Challenge: Empowering Women for Decision-making at Every Pivotal Stage in Life

Women are unique in what they want and need from financial advice; yet they face similar challenges throughout each stage of their lives.

When faced with the prospect of preparing for retirement, all investors must grapple with complex questions: How will the markets affect my portfolio? How healthy will I be? What am I not thinking of that might send a shock wave through my plans?

Such questions assume more importance for women due to a variety of compounding factors:

  • Longer average life expectancies - Women who reach age 65 are on average expected to live 2.3 years longer than men who reach the same age.1
  • Gaps in employment - Women may take some time off to care for aging parents or others.
  • Lower savings levels - Women tend to have lower account balances than men despite needing higher ones — women who retired in 2012 are expected to spend 15% more time in retirement than men (20.5 vs. 17.9 years).2
  • Higher medical costs - Women have a higher chance than men of being impacted financially by chronic or terminal illnesses over their longer lifespan.
  • Higher taxes - 80% of women in their final years may be single and facing potentially higher tax rates than married couples do.3

What can women do to overcome these retirement challenges? Plenty, if they make smart moves at every stage of life.

Explore with us

Shortchanged in Retirement: Continuing Challenges to Women's Financial Future

A new analysis from the National Institute on Retirement Security finds that women are far more likely than men to face financial hardship in retirement. Women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. The report, made possible through a grant from BNY Mellon Investment Management, was released on March 1st. The study details women’s financial security challenges and offers policy recommendations to close retirement gender gap.

  • Download the full study here.
  • Read the press release here.

Advancing Women’s Impact Through Sport: The Iconic BNY Mellon Boat Race

With a significant milestone for women's sport globally launched in 2015 — the Newton Women's Boat Race between the University boat clubs of Oxford and Cambridge competed on the same stage as their male counterparts in the BNY Mellon Boat Race on London's Thames River. A visible display of equality that embodies BNY Mellon's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, join us as we gear up for The BNY Mellon Boat Races.

Women: Investing With A Purpose

American women represent an economic powerhouse. They control two-thirds of household spending—and 70% of intergenerational wealth transfer over the next 40 years. But how well are they being served by advisors?

"Women: Investing With A Purpose: Why Women Investors May Need a Different Approach to Reach Their Goals" reveals a wide gap between what female clients need from advisors—and what they’re actually getting. It portrays a demographic too large, diverse and important ever to be called a niche, yet frequently sharing a serious disconnect between future needs and current investment strategies. The report addresses such issues as:

  • Why women on average may be poorly prepared for retirement—and how to get them back on track
  • Breaking the “conservative lock” on women’s risk tolerance
  • A new goal-based approach for understanding and engaging women clients
  • Avoiding the one issue most likely to cause a woman to walk away from her advisor
  • Practical steps advisors can take right now

Access the full report here.

1 Social Security Administration. Calculators: Life Expectancy. 2015.

2 OECD. Expected years in retirement. Society at a Glance 2014: OECD Social Indicators. s.l.: OECD Publishing. 2014.

3 Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. On My Own Two Feet. 2007.

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