Financial professionals are working with more female clients now than ever before. Women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinner and the financial decision maker of their households. But despite their increased responsibility, many report feeling underprepared when it comes to long-term financial planning. Learn their top concerns and where life insurance can play a role.
In an effort to unlock what makes women tick, Prudential conducted its eighth biennial study entitled “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women.” Here is what it found:
Women feel more financially secure
Since the financial crisis of 2008, women at large appear to be less concerned about their long-term financial goals, as those with concerns about protecting investments from volatility dropped from 94 percent to 75 percent over the last four years. What women are most concerned about are having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement and not becoming a financial burden to their families as they age and require more care.
While women seem to speak as a block when it comes to their financial goals, their confidence in achieving them varies by a few factors.
For example, married women who contribute to their household income but are not the primary breadwinner, are the most confident in being able to meet their long-term financial goals. According to the study, nearly 40 percent consider themselves on or ahead of schedule when it comes to their financial goals. On the other hand, just 32 percent of married women who are the primary breadwinners consider themselves on track or ahead of the curve. Divorced or widowed women are the most likely group to say they are behind schedule – to the tune of 51 percent. Single woman are similarly pessimistic, with 44 percent reporting they are behind when it comes to planning and saving for retirement.
Financial drivers for women
Despite the overall confidence women seem to be feeling regarding reaching their financial plans, it appears that they still feel relatively unprepared to make educated decisions. When it comes to basic financial products, confidence is high – according to the Prudential survey, 92 percent have a firm understanding of savings accounts and 75 percent feel confident in their knowledge of life insurance.
But what are the factors that are truly important to women? According to Prudential’s survey, the top concern of women is having enough money to maintain their lifestyle throughout retirement, as 93 percent of respondents indicated that it was either very or somewhat important. A close second is not to be a burden on their loved ones, with 91 percent saying it was important to them.
Rounding out the top five financial concerns were making sure they did not outlive or fully spend all of their savings, maintaining a standard of living for their families should they die unexpectedly or become disabled, and protecting their investments and retirement savings from market volatility, with 88 percent, 82 percent and 78 percent of woman respectively indicating those were very or somewhat important to them.
The confidence gap
While much has changed in the last decade, one thing that has remained virtually static is the confidence gap. According to Prudential, 75 percent of women surveyed this year said having enough money to maintain their lifestyle through their retirement is important, but only 14 percent are very confident in their ability to meet that goal.
Forgoing financial professionals
As women become more confident in their own understanding of their finances, they are also feeling more comfortable handing their financial decisions on their own, without the use of a financial professional. According to Prudential, just 31 percent are working with one, compared to nearly 50 percent in 2008. Of those who are using the services of a financial professional, 53 percent say they are on track or ahead of scheduled for their retirement planning, compared to just 23 percent of those who aren’t using an advisor.
Despite the fact that women are increasingly striking out on their own in terms of financial planning, a long-term financial strategy from a professional that incorporates a well-structured life insurance policy has the ability to satisfy women’s desire for a financially secure retirement, as well as asset protection. Make sure your clients understand that life insurance for women can provide:
- Income protection
- Enhanced retirement assets
- Long term care
- Income to dependents or heirs
- And more!