If there's ever been a time when women are playing more of a role in the consumer and working world, it's now.
Several studies have indicated as such. For example, of the country's most-populated cities, several have seen the rate of women-owned businesses swell substantially in recent years. In Memphis, over a five-year period, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 116 percent, according to numbers compiled by the Center for an Urban Future. And in Fort Worth, Texas, women-owned firms rose nearly 80 percent during the same five-year stretch. Furthermore, in the country's largest 25 cities, female-owned businesses have risen 43 percent.
"Women-owned businesses are up 43 percent in the last five years."
Women's expanse into formerly male-dominated arenas has also been observed on the roads, when you consider that 14 percent of all motorcycle owners are women, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. That's up from 8 percent in 2008.
However, as women take on more responsibilities outside of the home, their planning for retirement has fallen by the wayside, based on new research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
Just 1 in 10 women confident about retirement future
Only 12 percent of women consider themselves to be confident they can retire comfortably, maintaining or improving their quality of living, TCRS reported from its findings. Because of their retirement savings uncertainty, more than half - 56 percent - intend to retire after 65 or not at all.
Complicating matters further is the possibility that women may be forced into retirement due to illness, injury or layoffs. In any one of these scenarios, nearly two-thirds don't have a backup plan, the survey suggested.
Thanks to 401(k) plans and Social Security, baby boomers have a safety net they can fall back on. However, economists say Social Security risks insolvency because so many people are collecting and fewer pay in.
"Almost 30 percent will rely on Social Security in retirement."
The TCRS poll found that 29 percent of women anticipate relying heavily on Social Security.
Catherine Collinson, TCRS president, indicated that as far as women have come, challenges clearly remain, particularly when it comes to retirement and estate planning.
"Women in the 21st century are better educated and enjoy career opportunities that our grandmothers' generation could only dream about," Collinson explained. "However, even in 2016, a woman's ability to achieve a secure retirement is filled with obstacles, such as lower pay and time out of the workforce for parenting or caregiving, which can negatively affect her own long-term financial prospects."
Most women worry about retiring on their schedule
Retirement age is on the horizon for women today, but the view of it is quite cloudy. A majority of women say they're very concerned about being able to retire when they elect to do so, according to a separate study done by the Insured Retirement Institute. Among men, 34 percent express similar misgivings.
One of the ways women can improve their chances of retiring when they want to and how they want to is with the advice and judgment of a professional advisor. However, only 36 percent say they use one, the TCRS study found.
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