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Excuse me while I gloat just a little bit, but new research says women score big when it comes to saving for retirement.

According to Jean Young, senior research analyst with the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, “Women are better at this.” Vanguard peeked into the habits of 720,000 workers who were eligible to sign up for the 401(k) plan at work.

Apparently women were 14 percent more likely to take advantage of the deal – although it was the men who had more wealth because they earned more. They were also saving anywhere from 7 to 16 percent more than men.

Vanguard, if you don’t already know, is the venerable investment House-O-Mutual Funds that is one of the few – if not only – places where I would park money if I didn’t distrust Wall Street so much.

Here’s why: John C. Bogle, the founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard Group was the guy who came up with the world’s first index mutual fund that mimics the market’s movements – and therefore achieves higher returns with lower management costs. He hates hidden costs – which mutual funds are famous for. (What you don’t know CAN hurt you: Every dollar that you blow today on hidden costs can cost you $32 in your retirement.)

In fact, I’m just finishing up Bogle’s book The Battle For The Soul Of Capitalism that rips corporate money managers, directors and CEOs for receiving ridiculous oversized incomes without ever contributing to the increasing value of the companies they represent. He expertly details the smoke and mirror environment of Wall Street – which should scare you right into the world of self-directed IRA investing.

401k women saversThe Vanguard research said the average account balance for women – despite their income – was $79,572, compared to men, who held $123,262. You won’t be shocked to find out the men earned more, but the more interesting element is that just under half of the women earned an annual salary of less than $50,000.

Women were planning ahead and working with what they have, while the men were taking slightly more risk, and getting a tad higher return (still less than what I see in my own investments). Researchers figured it was because women are more security-driven.

Hmmm, security, eh? That may explain why I’d rather invest in real estate that has the security of a material object – land or a building — something real backing its value. That way if something goes wrong with Plan A, there’s a way to preserve capital – usually several ways.

I definitely like that.

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