More women plan to put themselves first in retirement

  • Seventy-three percent of women say age 70 is the new 50, according to a new survey from TD Ameritrade.
  • Women also see their later years as a time when they can pursue more meaningful work.
  • One thing that many women would sacrifice their money for: the opportunity to stay healthy until the end of their lives.
Scene for the show The Golden Girls.
ABC | Getty Images
Scene for the show The Golden Girls.

Age 70 could be the new 50.

At least that's what many women are saying when it comes to how they perceive their retirement years.

A new survey from TD Ameritrade found that 73 percent of women said 70 is the new 50, while 59 percent of men said the same.

The results come from an online survey that was conducted in July. It included 2,002 U.S. adults ages 18 and up.

The findings come as other research points to abundant financial challenges for women in their golden years.

Yet women are not letting that stop them from seeing this as a time of empowerment, according to Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade.

"[Women] have sacrificed for others throughout their lives, but in that retirement phase they will now be able to determine what they want to do with their lives and how they want to live," Russell said. "They don't necessarily have to sacrifice anymore to take care of everyone else."

That optimism includes the financial side, Russell said. Women know they will need more money to cover their longer lives. But they also want work that will provide them with more fulfillment.

Seventy-six percent of the women surveyed said they see more opportunities for meaningful work as they get older.

The majority of female respondents said they expect to live until 84 years old on average. And they will consider themselves to actually be old at age 76. Men, on the other hand, said 72.

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Women's top priorities in retirement include spending time with friends and family, which came in first, followed by focusing on their health and wellness and seeking out new experiences, which tied for second.

The survey also found that many women value their health more than money. Five in 10 — or 47 percent — of female respondents said they would trade half or more of their wealth in exchange for being healthy for the rest of their lives.