(Bloomberg News) Women voters, who are less confident they'll have enough money in retirement and say they'll have to work longer than many men expect to, are taking more steps to trim household budgets.
A Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10 finds that 41% of female likely voters are either very or fairly confident they will have enough money in retirement, compared with 48% of male likely voters. Thirty-two% of these women are confident they won't have to work beyond their target retirement age; 40% of men say the same.
Janice Woods Moorman, a 55-year-old retired bus driver from Roanoke, Va., who lost much of her retirement savings in the stock-market collapse of 2008, says she has cut back.
"I'm always looking for bargains," she says. "Financially, I can't do what I used to be able to do."
The poll reflects that women, who have been less affected by job cuts than men in the longest recession in seven decades, are more concerned about unemployment. Among women voters, 54% say unemployment is the biggest issue facing the U.S., compared with 43% of men.
Overall, unemployment stood at 9.6% in September, down from a 26-year high of 10.1% in October 2009.
From December 2007, the beginning of the recession, to June 2009, when it officially ended, men accounted for 66% of job losses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That gap has narrowed as hiring in sectors such as financial services has picked up: In September, the unemployment rate for women 20 and older was 8% and the rate for men was 9.8%.
Favorable To Obama
The relatively more favorable employment picture for women in the recession may help explain why female voters in the poll are less critical than men about President Barack Obama's handling of the economy. Thirty-six percent of women say they expect their economic situation to improve, compared with 32% of men.
Female poll respondents were more likely than men to say the tough economy has forced them to make some changes in their household spending behavior. Greater percentages of women than men say they've changed where they shop to save money, put off a major needed purchase and made cuts in regular household expenses such as cable television, telephone and Internet service.