What Women Think about Retirement Planning

April 17, 2015

Have you ever wondered what women think retirement means, when they started planning, and what they plan on doing in retirement?

We did, and we reached out to several women here at Pacific Life to get their perspectives.

What does financial security in retirement mean to you?

Knowing that my retirement plan is sufficient enough to cover my expenses for the rest of my life; this includes planning for hardships (illness or other unforeseen complications). - Courtney A.

For me, financial security in retirement is peaceful. It is not living paycheck-to-paycheck, and having a little extra for those unexpected emergencies or wanting to splurge. It means that I don’t always have to check the budget to make sure I’m not creating a problem in the future. - Tandi L.

Financial security in retirement means that I am able to cover everyday living expenses, have a safety net for emergency situations that may arise, and can also enjoy fun experiences (like traveling) with family and friends. - Kimberly A.

When did you first start planning for retirement and why?

When I first started in this industry nearly 30 years ago, retirement was a hazy date in the far distant future. I was more motivated to reduce my taxable salary. That I could do that by investing in the company’s 401(k) was great. It also gave me something to talk about with the firm’s mutual fund officer. His advice: “Start small, but start now.” That’s still sound advice for any working twenty-something today. - June A.

I started contributing to a 401(k) with my first job. It was on my parents’ advice to do so. They said it’s something you do throughout your career. Save a little now and over time, you’ll see the impact. - Tiffany G.

I’ve been lucky to have a strong female role model in my life who instilled in me from an early age the importance of retirement planning—my mother. Growing up, she was actively involved in my family’s finances and retirement plans, and was unafraid to jump in and start learning about areas she was unsure about. Her actions not only set a precedent for me in terms of how I now actively approach my own finances, it also gave me a head start in my retirement planning as she passed down the knowledge from her self-education. As soon as I started my first job out of college, I started contributing to a 401(k) with the phrase “the power of compound interest” already engrained in my mind. In the years since I first started planning for retirement, I’ve been able to have frank discussions with the other women in my life to continue developing in how I invest in my future. I think it’s these types of open conversations between the women—that start early and continue through all stages of your life—that are most influential in changing the way women look at their financial futures. - Kendra R.

When you picture retirement, what does your lifestyle look like?

I plan on an active retirement. I will travel with family and friends, do volunteer work, and pursue my hobbies. - Stephanie C.

My retirement lifestyle will be, in one word, fun. I would like to travel to all the places on my bucket list, live in a fun and active retirement community, and also give back to my family. My grandparents, in their retirement, always had a birthday present for their grandchildren, treated me to the occasional lunch, and helped to fund part of my college education. I am always grateful for their love and financial support, and I want to be able to do the same for my family. - Elizabeth B.

I look forward to traveling to exotic locations, spending time with friends and family, supporting charities I care about, and giving back to my community. My dad encouraged me to start saving for retirement with my very first paycheck, and I’ve been saving ever since. - Andrea Y.

Learn More about Women and Retirement

Women are an influential demographic for the financial services market. Recognizing that many women are looking for a more personalized approach, Pacific Life developed a series of educational materials and online tools focused on connecting with women and motivating them to take charge of their retirement planning.

Picture of Steve Chmelka

Steve is a Senior Retirement Strategies Consultant with the Retirement Solutions Division at Pacific Life. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience in financial planning and wealth management, including detailed knowledge of both employer-sponsored retirement plans and retirement-planning strategies.

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