The most important step in helping our children inherit a world of their own is to demonstrate to them that we can change for the better ourselves. Clearly, there is still much room for improvement.
Horsham, PA (Vocus) May 4, 2010
The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company today announced that its second annual Worth® Survey for Women shows that those mothers who believe they serve as “good financial role models” for children also feel better about themselves as wives, daughters and friends, and are also more likely to take better care of themselves.
The annual tracking study was conducted by Penn Mutual during March 2010 and encompassed interviews with a nationally representative sample of women ages 25 to 64. The sample included women across a wide income spectrum, women with and without life insurance, and both married and single mothers.
Approximately one-half of mothers surveyed said they were “good financial role models,” while 16 percent said they were “rather lacking” and 34 percent said they were “less than good” as financial role models. Mothers who were active in family financial planning were more likely to see themselves in a positive way, often by wide margins.
Almost 60 percent of women who perceived themselves as “good financial role models” said they “will have accomplished great things in my life,” as opposed to those women who did not see themselves as positive financial role models, where less than 30 percent felt they would accomplish great things. Women who stated they were good financial role models were more than twice as likely to say that they take good care of themselves and over 30 percent are more likely to consider their opinions important, than women who did not see themselves as “good financial role models.”
Despite their value in their own opinions, mothers who were good financial role models were almost twice as likely to seek expert advice as they faced professional, personal or financial challenges. They were also more likely to own life insurance—the cornerstone of family financial planning—and to make progress in creating savings and reducing debt.
The annual survey is a key component of Penn Mutual’s Worth® initiative, which targets the vastly underserved women’s market. Worth offers educational resources and tools that advocate women take charge of their financial futures by considering the entirety of their value to home and family. For more information, go to http://www.WorthForWomen.com.
Penn Mutual recently named Eileen McDonnell president, making Penn Mutual the largest life insurance company in the nation with a woman as president. Commenting on the survey and the Worth initiative, McDonnell said, “We launched Worth last year to help women take charge of their future and recognize their full value. The survey clearly validates our belief in the need for women to develop a financial plan that includes life insurance as its cornerstone. However, even among women who see themselves as good financial role models, there are challenges, particularly in women’s willingness or ability to save.”
Women, whether they described themselves as “good financial role models” or not, seem acutely aware of this challenge, with 88 percent and 94 percent of them, respectively, recognizing the need to build savings. However, more than half of each group is behind in goals related to savings or paying down debt.
“The most important step in helping our children inherit a world of their own is to demonstrate to them that we can change for the better ourselves. Clearly, there is still much room for improvement,” McDonnell said.
Women comprise 51 percent of the population(1) and hold 43 percent of America’s wealth.(2) They typically outlive their spouses. In Penn Mutual’s 2009 survey, results showed that most women are neither confident about their finances nor have they planned for their future. The Penn Mutual proprietary survey data in 2009 and 2010 showed that women who have life insurance are more likely to believe they are a good financial role model and to have a more positive outlook about their own life, contributions to their family and future. Women insured for the same amount as their spouses were even more likely to have a positive outlook.
Widely cited economic statistics regarding women include the facts that women receive 59 percent of all post-high school degrees.(3) They start businesses at twice the rate of men.(4) They earn $2.4 trillion annually(5) and they influence 95 percent of all purchasing decisions.(6) But this is only a small part of their economic story. A woman is likely to outlive her male counterpart by five years. She is more likely to be alone later in life and far more likely to spend time in a nursing home.(6)
In 2009, as a means to help women to take charge of their financial planning needs, Penn Mutual introduced a proprietary Worth for Women calculator, also accessible at http://www.worthforwomen.com/worth/pages/worth/index.html. The calculator is an interactive tool that allows a woman to measure her true economic value, including often-overlooked measurements like childcare, budget management and homemaking.
The Worth for Women calculator is one of the highlights of Penn Mutual’s Worth initiative, which includes an award-winning, content-rich website, as well as a quarterly newsletter, brochures, a seminar series and other communications initiatives that allow financial professionals to craft a financial plan specifically geared to meet the challenges and fulfill the goals of women at every life stage. In addition to Worth, Penn Mutual is further supporting the women’s market through its presenting sponsorship of Vision 2020, a project of the Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership.
About The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
Since 1847, Penn Mutual has been driven by our noble purpose to create a world of possibilities. At the heart of this purpose is the belief that life insurance is the most protective, responsible and rewarding action a person can take to build a solid foundation today and create a brighter future for generations to come. The company is committed to helping families unlock the possibilities of life through life insurance and annuity solutions. This is accomplished through a national network of financial professionals, who help clients meet their financial needs with confidence. Penn Mutual supports its field representatives with brokerage services through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., Registered Investment Advisor and wholly owned subsidiary. Member FINRA/SIPC. Visit Penn Mutual on the Internet at http://www.pennmutual.com. Access the Worth Calculator on the Worth for Women website: http://www.WorthForWomen.com.
2010 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, 600 Dresher Road, Horsham, PA 19044
(1)2009 US Statistical Abstract reflecting 2007 population (table 7, 18+ years of age).
(2)2009 US Statistical Abstract reflecting 2004 top wealth holders (table 696).
(3)2009 US Statistical Abstract reflecting 2006 degrees earned (table 288).
(4)Marketing to Women, Marti Barletta, 2006.
(5)2009 US Statistical Abstract: computed using 2006 mean income (table 680) and 2007 population for women 25-64 (table 7).
(6)Women and Diversity WOW! Facts 2005.