Wall Street Is Failing Women in Retirement

When it comes to a comfortable retirement, women in the US have the cards stacked against them. New efforts to start changing this are laudable, and yet they’re still missing the mark because they’re being shaped by decades of misperceptions.

The inequities a woman faces throughout her working life — from earning less to shouldering the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities — add up over the years and take their toll. More than 80% of women don’t think they'll be able to retire without running out of money compared with 65% of men, according to a recent TIAA study.

While much of the problem is rooted in culture and history — along with subpar US policies — the financial services industry bears its share of the blame. It’s long neglected women, alienating them with patronizing attitudes and outdated thinking, making wrong assumptions about what they care about, relying on technical jargon and telling them to spend less rather than invest.