Women feel less confident about being prepared for retirement than men, according to a survey released Tuesday by TIAA-CREF, a financial services firm.

Fifty-six percent of women expressed confidence that they are saving enough for retirement, compared with 65 percent of men.

For those women who received financial advice, 40 percent changed the asset allocations in their retirement accounts, while 62 percent began monitoring their savings and 58 percent modified their spending habits, the survey says.

At the same time, nearly half of the women say they have not sought financial advice because it will cost more than they can afford, and one third say they do not have time to look for help.

The survey included 1,000 respondents nationwide.

Overall, when it comes to financial planning, women are more focused on unexpected events, such as divorce or loss of a loved one, rather than milestones like getting married or planning for retirement, according to Teresa Hassara, executive vice president and head of the Institutional Business at TIAA-CREF.

Financial advisors need to be ready to help women take advantage of good opportunities, such as a child getting into a good school or an ideal house becoming available, as well as weathering bad circumstances, Hassara says.

Half of the women surveyed say they would like financial advice created and designed specifically by women.

In overall results, the survey showed an increase in requests for advice on retirement between this year and 2012. There was an 11 percent increase in requests for advice on saving for retirement (from 52 percent to 63 percent), and a 9 percent increase in requests for advice on how to make savings last (from 49 percent to 54 percent).