The fact that nearly two-thirds of women ranked a financial advisor or friends and family in their top three choices demonstrates a preference for face-to-face contact and is consistent with our research over the course of the past eight years
Newark, N.J. (PRWEB) May 14, 2008
Although more than one-third of women surveyed in Prudential Financial's (NYSE:PRU) fifth biennial study on The Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women named a financial advisor (34%) as their number one source for learning about financial products, friends/family and the Internet tied for second place at 19%, respectively--indicating that a mix of face-to-face contact and 'self-help' tools are valued by women regardless of age.
Across the generations, an overwhelming 80% of Millennials (ages 25-29)* show the most propensity for relying on friends and family for guidance. Yet the Internet is equally important at 79%, with roughly three-quarters of Millennials and GenXers (ages 30-42) citing the Internet as one of their top three resources. The difference in using the Internet as a top resource for financial planning information is quite extreme across the generations: less than half of Matures (ages 62-68)* and Boomers (ages 43-61) cite the web--over half prefer an advisor--indicating a seismic shift in consumers' research and purchasing habits.
"The fact that nearly two-thirds of women ranked a financial advisor or friends and family in their top three choices demonstrates a preference for face-to-face contact and is consistent with our research over the course of the past eight years," says Judy Rice, President of Prudential Investments. Rice adds that the growth of online resources brings with it opportunity. "Women actively seek counsel and more and more are doing their homework online. Younger generations are even comfortable making financial purchases via the Internet. Appealing to the women's market effectively means offering a thoughtful mix of trusted and reliable sources, and doing it well."
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. A surprising 36% of Millennials and 34% of GenXers are giving serious thought to what it takes to prepare for retirement, Prudential's study found. Retirement is also a top-of-mind consideration for 28% of Boomer women (ages 43-61) who participated in the study.
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.
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 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."
Prudential's 2008 Study on The Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women is available at http://www.prudential.com.
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.
*Age segments based on study participants.
IFS-A147765 Ed. 5/2008