Are Women And Financial Strategies Mismatched?

Although 90% of women say they are the chief bill-payer and shoppers at home, more than 70% believe they are behind schedule when it comes to saving for retirement.1,2 Also, a full 60% say they haven’t tried to calculate how much they need to save in order to live comfortably in retirement.³

According to CNBC, women experience a unique set of circumstances when establishing financial strategies and future planning. These include longer life expectancy, fewer years in the workforce and lower salaries than their male counterparts. Despite their marital status and career standing, they often outlive their spouse or partners and assets.

A look at these statistics would suggest that most women don’t shy away from the day-to-day financial decisions needed to run a household, but when it comes thinking, strategizing and preparing for their future, they leave a lot to chance.

Why the Disparity?

A lack of education and independence is not the issue. Women today earn over 55 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S., and they earn more master’s degrees and doctorates than men.⁴ According to some experts this at an all time high. So what keeps them from taking charge of their long-term financial future?

Research suggests that one reason may be a lack of confidence. A staggering 60 percent of women believe they lack the skills to invest successfully.⁵ Women may avoid discussing retirement to not be seen as uneducated and naïve, which causes them to hesitate as a result.

Wall Street and its branches have traditionally been a male-dominated arena. This has caused a disparity in the active participation of women. Additionally, women whose expertise lies in other areas may feel uneasy amidst new forms of financial strategies and long-term financial projections. Just the jargon of personal finance can be intimidating to anyone: 401(k), 403(b), fixed, variable.⁶ Furthermore, to those inexperienced in the field of personal finance, it may seem completely foreign.

It’s About Time, It’s About You

However, in recent years more and more women have taken a more active role in their retirement options and financial future. With that being said, women should keep a steady eye toward retirement since they may live longer and could potentially face higher health-care expenses.

If you have left your long-term financial strategy to chance, now is the time to pick up the reins and retake control. Consider talking with a financial professional about your goals and ambitions for retirement. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if the conversation turns to something unfamiliar. No one was born knowing the ins-and-outs of compound interest, but it’s important to understand in order to make informed decisions.



  1. Real Simple magazine, February 4, 2013
  2. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014
  3. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014
  4. U.S. Department of Education, 2013
  5. Real Simple magazine, February 4, 2013
  6. Distributions from 401(k), 403(b), and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Some of this material was developed and produced by FMG, LLC, to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2015 FMG Suite.



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