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Women Increasingly Primary Earners, but Not Financially Confident

woman earner

More than half of women (53%) surveyed recently are the primary breadwinners in their households, yet only 20% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.1

Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they earn more than their spouse as a direct result of the rocky economy. Among male breadwinners, 45% consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.

Other key findings:

  • Women worry most about household expenses, levels of debt, and saving for retirement. Men worry most about the state of the economy, household expenses, and saving for retirement.
  • The majority of women see themselves as “savers” (70%) rather than “investors,” and most are only interested in guaranteed/FDIC-insured products.
  • Younger women are experiencing greater financial challenges. Those under age 35 have an unemployment rate of 25%, and 22% don’t own a checking or savings account.
  • Women overall are underserved by financial advisors. Two-thirds do not currently work with an advisor. The biggest obstacles are perceived to be cost and lack of funds.

What can you do to increase your financial confidence?

  • Seek education about the investment vehicles that can help you reach your goals. Contact local professional/trade associations, women’s groups, community colleges, and adult education centers in your area for information on investment or personal finance seminars taking place.
  • Work with an investment professional. An advisor is an excellent source of information and guidance to sort through the many choices available.
  • Obtain information about the retirement benefits that are available through your employer and actively participate in any plans offered.
  • Most important, recognize the unique challenges you face and start saving and investing as early as possible to overcome them.

To access the 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study: “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” click here.

1Source: Prudential, “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” August 2012.

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