Study: Females Making Strides in Saving and Investing

June 24, 2004 ( - As retirement planning experts continue to bemoan the need for Americans to save more, almost half of women in a recent survey said they plan to put away additional funds in the next year.

The Prudential Financial, Inc. survey found that the majority are more involved in personal and household financial decisions, including purchasing or managing various products that help grow and protect wealth. In fact, among Baby Boomer women, at least 88% of those polled indicate they have sole or joint responsibility for products like investment accounts, annuities and life insurance.

Some 92% have sole or joint responsibility for long-term care insurance, compared to just 66% in 2002 and 60% in 2000. Some 91% have sole or joint responsibility for annuities, up from 60% two years ago.

“American women are more hands on when it comes to handling today’s financial products,” said Vivian Banta, vice chairman of Prudential Financial, in a news release. “Their influence on household decisions has grown markedly since 2000 and we expect that trend will continue in the coming years.”

According to the study, women also want education on financial matters – with more than eight in 10 indicating that knowledge could potentially improve their financial outlook. Financial professionals are their preferred source.

Even though women will take action in the short term, a paltry one in 10 indicate they will “definitely” follow through with actions that could lead to their long-term financial security, including opening an IRA and meeting with a financial professional to develop a formal financial plan.

Study results also include that:

  • On a 100-point allocation scale across 10 separate financial goals, women allocate 48 points to retirement security goals, including having enough income for a comfortable retirement, avoiding becoming a burden to others and avoiding spending all of their retirement savings. Women likewise allocate 28 points to controlling expenses by reducing debt, lowering personal taxes and setting a budget.
  • Some 78% feel securing a comfortable retirement is “very” important, but just 12 % are “very” confident they will not outlive their savings.
  • Among seven major financial goals, 40% to 50% of women are not confident they have sufficiently prepared to meet their objectives.

Prudential’s 2004-2005 Study on the Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women was conducted in February 2004 and polled 1,134 American women about their financial goals, knowledge and confidence in meeting these goals. For more information, go .