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"Retirement Planning is a Woman's Issue" States New York Life's Executive Vice President Ted Mathas at AARP Women's Leadership Circle Launch

Details the Need For Women to Take an Active Role in Planning for Retirement.

NEW YORK, N.Y., April 6, 2006 — New York Life Insurance Company's Executive Vice President Ted Mathas gave the keynote address today at AARP's launch of the Women's Leadership Circle, detailing the state of retirement for women and mapping out the necessary steps needed to ensure a financially sound future for women and their families.

"Financial planning for retirement is – by definition – a women's issue. The numbers don't lie: by age 85, there are twice as many women as men. And they need to be planning well in advance for their economic self-sufficiency," Mathas said.

Women face far greater financial risk during retirement than men for various reasons including:

  • Life expectancy: women live longer than men. Nearly one-third of all women who are age 65 today will live well into their nineties.
  • The average age of widowhood in America is 55: Even though the majority of adult women are married, 85% of them will spend the last years of retirement alone.
  • Widowhood spells financial disaster for women. According to the U.S. government, four out of five widows living below the poverty line were not poor before their husbands died.
  • Women are less likely than men to work for an employer who offered a retirement plan.
  • Because women are often the ones to leave jobs to care for children, they are also less likely to vest in pension plans or contribute as much as men to retirement savings plans.

Women, who are looking at retirements lasting twenty years, thirty years or longer, need a source of guaranteed income that they cannot outlive. According to Mathas, very few people realize they can convert a portion of their retirement savings into a guaranteed stream of monthly income for life. The introduction of guaranteed lifetime income products offers the tremendous reassurance of knowing that regardless of how long you live and regardless of the ups and downs of Wall Street, you will continue to receive the monthly income that has been promised to you.

Mathas explained, "This can be a particularly valuable component of a retirement portfolio for women because it can replace the guaranteed monthly income from pensions and Social Security that's lost when a spouse dies; it has none of the volatility risks of investments, and yet usually yields much greater annual returns; and these guaranteed lifetime income plans provide the greatest benefits to those who live the longest: women."

"Every retirement plan should include guaranteed income that the markets can't erode and that retirees can't outlive," Mathas concluded. "We have the understanding, the financial tools and the resources to restore the retirement promise. Whether this means encouraging people to begin saving a few dollars a week early in their careers, or building their own personal pensions later in life, none of this is impossible. None of this is beyond us."

A copy of the complete keynote address is available at

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"Retirement Planning is a Woman's Issue" States New York Life's Executive Vice President Ted Mathas at AARP Women's Leadership Circle Launch

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