Thirty-seven percent of women polled rely on friends and family for retirement planning advice, according to a survey released today by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

That’s great if your friend or relative is investment guru Warren Buffet or a financial whiz. Otherwise, you could be just following in a friend’s moves — mistakes and all.

Catherine Collinson, president of the center for retirement studies, says she was surprised by how many women rely on friends and family for retirement-related information. The group has conducted 13 annual surveys on retirement issues. This latest data comes from a poll of more than 1,000 women of all ages last year.

“Slowly but surely, we see awareness increasing,” she says. “It’s not increasing soon enough.”

She adds, “so few (women) are engaged in the topic and understand the risk and implications are for them personally.”

Women live longer than men so they need to provide for a longer retirement.

But women are more likely to take time out of the workforce to be parents and caregivers, Collinson says. That means they have fewer opportunities to save and, when they do go back to work, the time out can have a negative impact on their earnings.

The survey found that younger women — 58 percent of those in their 20s — tend to rely more on friends and family for financial advice than their older sisters.

Women in their 60s — 44 percent — are most likely to seek advice from a financial planner or broker. And more than one-quarter of 60-somethings get financial information from magazines and newspapers. (And there’s lots of good advice in those pages!)

 

Other findings:

—    8 percent of women polled strongly agree they are saving enough for retirement; 33 percent strongly disagree.

—    8 percent are very confident of attaining a comfortable retirement; 21 percent not at all confident.

—    And 8 percent talk frequently about finances with friends and family; 30 percent never do.

      That 8 percent must be all the same people who have a handle on their finances.