Where Women, Especially, Need to Know More About Money
By Latoya Scott
May 3, 2017
Women that work have made great strides in managing their money. They find it easier to make ends meet, and are using costly alternative financial services less often, a new report shows. Further, they are less likely to carry credit card debt or engage in expensive credit card behaviors.
But the research from TIAA Institute uncovers some soft spots that financial planners and human resources professionals should consider: women early in their careers, working mothers, African-American women, and those experiencing marital disruption generally lag in two key areas.
A third could not cover an unexpected $2,000 expense, and while three quarters have a retirement account fewer than half have tried to figure out how much they need to save for retirement, according to the report.
Overall, only a third of career women demonstrate basic financial literacy skills. These findings are worrisome because nine in 10 women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their life, according to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research.
“Of all financial goals, the most important for women surveyed is having enough money to maintain their lifestyle throughout retirement,” according to a Prudential report.
Financial literacy programs for women and a focus on building financial confidence could help. “Ninety-two percent of women are eager to learn about financial planning,” according to a report by Fidelity. However, they often find the information delivered in an unappealing way. Just one in five women feel the financial services industry understands their needs, research shows.
Financial services firms could do a better job of serving women by using less jargon, making it clear they are looking out for the customer’s best interests and adhering to a strong code of ethics, Prudential found.