W is for Women are Increasingly Primary Earners, but Not Financially Confident.

Portrait of a female executive

More than half of women (53%) surveyed recently are the primary breadwinners in their households, yet only 20% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.1

Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they earn more than their spouse as a direct result of the rocky economy. Among male breadwinners, 45% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.

Other key findings:

Women worry most about household expenses, levels of debt, and saving for retirement. Men worry most about the state of the economy, household expenses, and saving for retirement.

  • The majority of women see themselves as “savers” (70%) rather than “investors,” and most are only interested in guaranteed/FDIC-insured products.
  • Younger women are experiencing greater financial challenges. Those under age 35 have an unemployment rate of 25%, and 22% don’t own a checking or savings account.
  • Women overall are underserved by financial advisors. Two-thirds do not currently work with an advisor. The biggest obstacles are perceived to be cost and lack of funds.

What can you do to increase your financial confidence?

Seek education about the investment vehicles that can help you reach your goals. Contact local professional/trade associations, women’s groups, community colleges, and adult education centers in your area for information on investment or personal finance seminars taking place.

  • Work with an investment professional. An advisor is an excellent source of information and guidance to sort through the many choices available.
  • Obtain information about the retirement benefits that are available through your employer and actively participate in any plans offered.
  • Most important, recognize the unique challenges you face and start saving and investing as early as possible to overcome them.

To access the 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study: “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” click here.

 1Source: Prudential, “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” August 2012.

Answers from AZ

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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