But we've learned over the course of eight years of research that this awareness does not always translate into action. Considering their longevity, it's critical for women to learn about financial risks they may face and how to plan for a secure retirement.
Newark, NJ (PRWEB) May 6, 2008
Whether they're Millennials, GenXers, Boomers or Matures, American women are actively considering their future retirement and financial security -- countering conventional wisdom that retirement is an "over 50" issue, according to a study issued today by Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU).
A surprising 36% of Millennials (ages 25-29) and 34% of GenXers (ages 30-42) are giving serious thought to what it takes to prepare for retirement, Prudential's fifth biennial study on The Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women found. Retirement is also a top-of-mind consideration for 28% of Boomer women (ages 43-61) who participated in the study.
"The good news is that educational messages related to women's financial security appear to be resonating," says Christine Marcks, President of Prudential Retirement. "But we've learned over the course of eight years of research that this awareness does not always translate into action. Considering their longevity, it's critical for women to learn about financial risks they may face and how to plan for a secure retirement."
Since 2000, there has been virtually no change in women's confidence levels in achieving their retirement goals. About eight in 10 believe maintaining their lifestyle in retirement is a priority, yet few are very confident they can achieve it. A 62-point gap exists between women's confidence level and the importance they place on this goal, a disconcertingly consistent trend over the course of Prudential's research.
Women do rely on a trusted network for information and advice, and actively seek counsel. More than half named a financial advisor (34%) or friends and family (19%) as their most preferred source for learning about financial products. This desire for face-to-face contact is consistent with what Prudential has reported in previous studies. Across the generations, an overwhelming 80% of Millennials show the most propensity for relying on friends and family for guidance, yet the Internet is equally important-- at 79%. In fact, the difference in using the Internet as a top resource for financial planning information is quite extreme across the generations: It drops to 67% among GenXers and then to less than half among Boomers (46%) and Matures (45%).
The 2008 study also found a financial product knowledge gap persists. Although women across generations demonstrated a firm grasp of insurance products (29%) and workplace retirement plans (28%), a steady drop in understanding of mutual funds (15%), long-term care insurance (13%) and annuities (10%) occurred. Matures (women ages 62+) demonstrated more knowledge across the board, suggesting that some understanding does come with age.
Prudential Financial's 2008 Study on The Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women polled 1,033 American women about their financial knowledge, actions taken and confidence in attaining their financial goals. Other highlights of the survey, administered from October 17 to 25, 2007, include:
- Feeling prepared to make financial decisions does not necessarily come with age. Just one in five Boomers, GenXers and Millennials feel "very well prepared," compared to two in five Matures.
- Women are demonstrating personal accountability. In reporting their expected sources of retirement income, roughly two-thirds of women indicated their own personal savings, over government support and/or a systematic workplace savings plan. Not surprisingly, only 35% of
Millennials expect to rely on Social Security, vs. 91% of Matures.
- Retirement savings progress improves with preparedness. Forty percent of women "ahead" in their retirement feel very well prepared to make important financial decisions compared to just 7% of those "very behind."
- Confidence is bolstered by knowledge. Ninety percent of "very confident" women are ahead of schedule or on track with their savings, compared to only 4% of those "not" confident.
- Immediate needs overshadow long-term goals. Seventy-two percent of women admitted that procrastination affects their own personal experience to some degree. One-third of women cite family demands as the number one factor contributing to their delays, and one in five say they put off financial planning and saving because they just don't make enough money.
Prudential's 2008 Study on the Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women is available at http://www.prudential.com/women.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $631 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2008, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Leveraging its heritage of life insurance and asset management expertise, Prudential is focused on helping more than 50 million individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth. The company's well-known Rock symbol is an icon of strength, stability, expertise and innovation that has stood the test of time. Prudential's businesses offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. For more information, please visit http://www.prudential.com.
IFS-A147456 Ed. 5/2008