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The Takeaway: What Men and Women Can Learn From One Another About Saving for Retirement

Survey Finds Gender Differences In Retirement Planning: Men are more likely than women to be enrolled in a company retirement plan, while women are more likely to feel excited and enthusiastic about retirement. These are just a few of the retirement-planning gender differences found in a new report from the BMO Retirement Institute.

The report, called “Complementary Paths to Retirement: How men and women can learn from one another,” explores the different approaches and attitudes people take toward retirement-and found gender is a strong influence. In general, women were:

Women also had lower expectations than men about how much money they’ll need in retirement. Men surveyed were generally:
  • More likely to “go it alone” when formulating retirement savings or portfolio strategies.
  • More likely to describe their investment style as “aggressive.”
  • More likely to actively monitor their finances and portfolios.
  • More likely to have updated their financial plan within the past year.

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There are good and bad elements to each gender’s savings styles, BMO notes. Men’s willingness to assume more risk could bring greater returns on investments. Women’s greater willingness to ask for financial advice could help them avoid costly investment mistakes.

“There are clear differences between men and women when it comes to retirement planning,” said Tina Di Vito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute. “However, by integrating the best attributes from one another, both genders can increase their prospects for a more successful retirement.”

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