While the gender stereotypes of the past cast women as caregivers and men as breadwinners, the reality today is quite different. In fact, in the U.S., women control $11.2 trillion of the nation’s investable assets as primary decision makers, not just influencers.
As an increasing number of women become business owners and breadwinners, they are also taking on the responsibility of managing and building a secure financial future for themselves and their families. Although nine out of 10 women will be the sole financial decision maker of their household at some point in their lives, a recent study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that only one in five women feels confident talking about money.
According to BlackRock’s Global Investor Pulse Survey, only 53% of working-age women in the U.S. have started saving for retirement, compared to 65% of working-age men. For American women age 55 to 64 who do have retirement savings, their average nest egg is one-third less than men in the same demographic ($81,300, compared with $118,400).
There are many reasons behind the gender savings gap. Women are still more likely than men to put their careers on hold, or work part-time, to raise children or care for aging parents. With fewer years in the workforce, women may miss out on company retirement plans and have fewer years to benefit from compound growth. And, women still face income inequality, earning 23% less their male counterparts, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since women live longer than man, and typically have higher health care expenses than men, the gender savings gap, combined with lack of financial confidence, puts many women at a disadvantage when planning for a secure financial future, especially after retirement.
But, there is strong evidence that women are actively seeking to expand their financial knowledge and their engagement with financial services. A study by Fidelity Investments found that 92% of women wanted to learn more about financial planning and 83% intended to get more involved in their finances. For some of these women, their employers may administer free financial educations programs are also numerous and valuable online tools, tips and resources that can help women boost both their financial knowledge and their financial confidence.
Learn more about what women can do to bridge the savings gap:
Click here to download a copy of our Secure Financial Future Infographic.