Women’s growing status as breadwinner and financial decision maker

Despite women’s growing status as primary breadwinner and household CFO, women still fear becoming a “bag lady.” That was among the latest findings from the 2013 Women, Money, and Power Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz).

Since the financial crisis of 2008 – 2009, women feel more responsible for financial decisions than ever. Yet, more than 40 percent of women surveyed said they don’t feel any smarter about how to manage their money than they did before the crisis.

The latest study also examined how women prefer to learn about finances, the emergence of “Women of InfluenceSM,” and how family dynamics are shifting women’s roles with respect to money and financial planning.

Six key insights on the financial needs of today’s women

Despite their rising workforce participation and escalating income, it appears that American women still have major gaps and unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money.

Our survey indicates new and changing social dynamics have made the so-called “typical family” anything but typical. As the definition and composition of families have changed, so has the “traditional female role” with respect to money and financial planning strategies.

These changes are creating new opportunities for financial services providers who better understand and better respond to the financial needs of women.

 

INSIGHT 1: Women as the chief financial officer of their households

In economic matters, the balance of power appears to be shifting toward women.

Today, 57% of all women say they have more earning power than ever before. Almost two-thirds (60%) of women say they are the primary breadwinner in their households.

The latest study also examined how women prefer to learn about finances, the emergence of “Women of InfluenceSM,” and how family dynamics are shifting women’s roles with respect to money and financial planning. As women have become more empowered in the workplace, they have also become more empowered in handling financial matters. In fact, more than half of married women see themselves as the chief financial officer of their households – implying that husbands and partners are not as influential in financial matters as they used to be.

Two-thirds of women agree that, in general, women cannot rely on a spouse to handle the investing. Consistent with that finding, 57% of women respondents say they primarily handle major investment decisions and retirement planning themselves. And almost as many (55%) say they are the ones to research new investing or retirement ideas.

 

 

INSIGHT 2: The rise of the “Woman of Influence”

The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study confirms that there is a type of financially empowered, financially savvy woman – a “Woman of InfluenceSM”.

Women of Influence represent a considerable portion (20%) of women and are distinguished by their higher incomes ($57,000 on average) and higher incidence of post-graduate education.

 

They also tend to be more successful in the workplace, being 50% more likely to own their own business, and 80% more likely to have achieved a director or vice president position.

Women of Influence have a higher need for financial control, and more desire for increasing their financial knowledge.

Women of Influence are also 37% more likely to have a financial professional, and credit their financial professional for helping them feel more confident and prepared for their financial future; helping them earn a better return, and helping them understand financial terminology and issues better.  

 

Read more Study Insights in next week's blog!

 

Source: Allianz Life Insurance Company

About the Author Susan Blumhorst

Susan Blumhorst is an Insurance Professional with her Masters in Counseling and is the Managing Member of Senior Path Specialists. .. Read More About Susan Here

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