Why This Trend is Becoming More Popular for Retirement

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Both genders are saving more for retirement, but men are paying more attention, according to a new study.

A recent MassMutual Retirement study found that women are gaining on men in retirement plan account balances as well as in savings rates.

In fact, saving enough for retirement has surpassed keeping up with monthly expenses as the biggest financial worry at 24%, up from 18% in 2011. The second most-cited worry is paying down debt.

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"The evidence that retirement is on the minds of virtually every American worker is encouraging," says Merl Baker, principal with Brightwork Partners, which conducted the survey.

For both women and men, the average expected retirement age is about 66 with the average retirement savings rate at 10.5% among those surveyed. That's up from 9% two years ago.

About 37% of respondents have considered delaying retirement beyond their original target date, and that percentage jumps to almost 50% for people currently age 50 or older.

Target date mutual funds are one solution that can help Americans of both genders catch up.

Target date mutual funds are all-in-one portfolios for retirement that automatically resets the asset mix of stocks, bonds and cash according to a selected time frame that is appropriate for a particular investor with a retirement year in mind. For example, a 50-year-old anticipating retiring at 65, would select a 2030 mutual fund. For more conservative investors, a 2025 target date mutual fund may be more appropriate.

Most target date mutual funds will sufficiently support retiree spending to age 85 given a standard set of savings, withdrawal rates and other factors," according to Morningstar analysis.

"Each series is structured along its guide path, which changes the fund's asset allocation as the investor gets closer to their retirement date," said Morningstar's Josh Charlson. "The funds in the lineup are pegged in five- to ten-year increments to align with an expected retirement date. "