The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement, and the Extra-Long Life

Though women experience extra-long lives and, therefore, face a number of unique risks in retirement — including aging single, lower annual retirement incomes, greater health care costs, and caregiving responsibilities — women have not planned adequately, leading to a significant gap between their retirement income security needs and their response to them. In conjunction with the study we have produced a "Woman on the Street" video where women express their opinions on retirement preparation.

Key Findings


  • Two in five women (39%) expect to live to age 90+, an age that exceeds the actual average life expectancy at a comparable age to those surveyed. Men in the study anticipated living to 90+ at half that rate (20%).
  • Seven of ten women (71% vs. 63% of men) report being either very or somewhat concerned about providing for their own or their spouse’s long-term care needs and are nearly twice as likely as men to be very concerned (27% vs. 15%).
  • More than half of women (53%, and an equal percentage of men) respond to unexpected financial emergencies by dealing with them “if and when they happen” as opposed to planning for possible scenarios and contingencies.
  • More men than women (34% vs. 28%) report getting serious about retirement income and expense decisions/calculations in their 20s and 30s. About one-third of men and women (32% and 36%) got serious in their 40s. One in three men (32%) and over one in four women (28%) did not get serious until their 50s and 60s.