The Financial Needs of Women


by Bill Schmick – April 22, 2011

Start Accounting for Your Future Today

Until recently, most personal finance professionals lumped men and women together when it came to planning for retirement, saving, or any other investment goals. However, savvy advisors are finally waking up and realizing that investment needs are not so gender neutral…!

Just The Facts, Ma’am

It’s a fact that women live longer than men by an average of 5.2 years. That doesn’t sound like much on the surface, but it means that the average woman should save at least an additional $250,000 or more for retirement (assuming it takes $50,000/year to support yourself) than her male counterpart.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

“So what”, you say, “I’m married (or getting married) and my husband will leave me and our kids well-provided for.” That will hopefully be the case – me lady – but you still NEED to get in the driver’s seat and learn about your options.  The truth is, 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  No one can predict the future, and anything can happen.  You owe it to yourself and your family, to be prepared!

Think About this…

What happens to your children if you get divorced and have to go to work? Did you know that there are 10 million single mothers in this country?  And that 87% of poverty-stricken elderly Americans are women!  Sorry to burst the bubble, but these ugly truths must be considered..

Sorting Out Stereotypes

So why is it that ONLY 12% of women take responsibility for planning and investing their money? One reason for this may be rooted in a gender stereotype of investing which historically has been male-based. Even in 2011, the industry and academic studies that I have researched, indicate that parents have not equally encouraged investing for both their sons and daughters.  Many of you may have experienced this in your own families, I know I did…

Guys Start Working Sooner

Not surprisingly, in a typical household, it’s the boys who get the financial focus.  In a survey they conducted with the Dreyfus Corporation, The National Center for Women and Retirement Research found that sons were more likely to be encouraged to earn money at a much earlier age (13) versus daughters (16-18).  This was true in my family: I had a paper route at 10 and was working part-time in a drug store at the age of 13, while my sister did not get her  first job until she was 18!

The study also showed, that in addition, boys were twice as likely to be encouraged by their parents to save money.  However, the study did reveal that those women who were supported in academic and math achievement by their parents or teachers early in life, were more confident with numbers during school, and as adults were more sure of their own financial management abilities.

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One Response to “The Financial Needs of Women”

  1. lori says:

    I thought this old fashioned concept of men needing more financial training than women was over!! Parents out there….get your daughters prepared to be more independent and self-sufficient!!

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