Friday, October 3, 2008

News You Can Use: Market chaos may affect women's retirement outlook

Women may have to rethink their retirement savings strategies due to the shake up in the U.S. banking system and its affect on the stock market, reports the Web site Women's

While women's participation in retirement plans has risen considerably relative to men in recent years, they traditionally have been conservative investors. Their accounts are smaller, compared to men's. Consequently, a sudden and huge loss to the account is a major setback in building an adequate retirement nest egg, according to the online magazine. Data on 2007 balances in defined contribution plans shows that women on average hold $19,749 in their accounts, while the mean for men is $32,391.

Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, told Women's that recent financial crisis will cause many women to reevaluate their retirement plans and strategies. Some women may have to work longer than they had expected to recoup their losses in the stock market, she added.

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