Are Women and Financial Strategies a Mismatch?

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

These figures suggest that most women don’t shy away from the day-to-day financial decisions needed to run a household, but when it comes to projecting and strategizing for retirement, some women may be leaving their future to chance.

Women and College

The reason behind this disparity isn’t a lack of education or independence. Women today earn over 55 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S., and they earn more master’s degrees and doctorates than men.4 So what keeps them from taking charge of their long-term financial picture?

Research suggests that one reason may be a lack of confidence.Sixty percent of women believe their investing skills are below average.5 Women may shy away from discussing retirement because they don’t want to appear uneducated or naïve and hesitate to ask questions as a result.

Insider language

Since Wall Street traditionally has been a male-dominated field, women whose expertise lies in other areas may feel uneasy amidst complex calculations and long-term financial projections. Just the jargon of personal finance can be intimidating: 401(k), 403(b), fixed, variable.6 To someone inexperienced in the field of personal finance, it may seem like an entirely different language.

But women need to keep one eye looking 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.

Compound Interest: What’s the Hype?

Compound interest may be one of the greatest secrets of smart investing. And time is the key to making the most of it. If you invested $250,000 in an account earning 6%, at the end of 20 years your account would be worth $801,784. However, if you waited 10 years, then started your investment program, you would end up with only $447,712.

Compound Interest Chart With Alarm Clock

This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent any specific investment or combination of investments.

  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 2014 Faulkner Media Group.

Post by Phil Ratcliff

Phil Ratcliff, President of rebel Financial, is a senior financial advisor that holds an AIF®, CFP®, ChFC®, and CLU® certifications. He started his career at American Express Financial Advisors in 2003, then moved to AXA Advisors for 7 years before founding rebel Financial LLC in 2013.

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