A recent survey from Regions Bank in conjunction with Vanderbilt University found women are less confident than men in handling their finances. Survey respondents were asked to rate their financial acumen on a seven-point scale where 1 was “not at all confident” and 7 was “very confident.” Men rated their confidence as 6.20 overall, while women rated their confidence as 5.86.
When asked to further elaborate on their confidence in specific financial matters, women were less confident than men about investing, managing debt, saving for retirement and budgeting. When asked about their role in making financial decisions for their households, women were less likely than men to say they took a lead role and more likely to say they shared evenly in the decision-making process.
The survey also asked respondents what actions they’d taken to help improve future financial security. The most common answers were review a retirement savings plan and meet with a financial advisor. Younger women, however, were more likely than others to say they had done nothing in the past year to improve their financial security. While 76 percent of men had reviewed their retirement savings plan in the past 12 months, only 64 percent of women had.
Last week I was invited to Regions Bank in Birmingham, Ala. to speak on a panel about women and wealth. I brought the perspective of the working mother and working daughter and the impact these roles have on women’s finances. A working mother’s time out of the office during her childbearing years is compounded by the time she takes off later to care for her parents. When you consider the fact women are projected to live an average of five years longer than men but earn between $700,000 to $2 million less over their lifetime due to the gender-based wage gap, you see how important this topic is.
Why not resolve to review your retirement plans in 2016? Meet with a financial planner, calculate your retirement needs and make sure you are saving enough.