January 2021

Women are increasingly taking ownership of their household’s financial management. Research conducted by The American College for Financial Services in 2020 reveals that more than 9 in 10 women with partners or spouses equally share or lead financial and investment decision-making for their households. This survey, which includes an analysis of over 800 women, describes how likely women are to work with a financial advisor, express concerns about their retirement security, and managing their finances.

The survey found that women tend to be more modest and humble about their financial and investment knowledge and literacy, and that their retirement planning and income literacy trails that of men.  Men outscored women on our 38-question quiz, which tested knowledge on retirement planning, medical and long-term care, life insurance, investing, and retirement income planning and strategies.

Women represent a critical audience for financial advisors and financial services providers. Understanding how their approach to financial and retirement planning differs from men and by age, asset level, and racial or ethnic background is critical to building lasting relationships and developing products, services, and approaches that meet women’s needs.