March is Women’s History Month, and to mark the occasion LIMRA, an industry research group, has reviewed some of its research to determine how women approach financial planning.
LIMRA says its studies have consistently shown that the top financial concern for both women and men in the United States is saving enough money for retirement. Women, however, rank this goal slightly higher than men, with 83% putting it as their number one priority compared to 77% of men. For other financial goals, LIMRA says that women put more importance on establishing an emergency fund, getting out of debt, and maintaining a good credit score than men do.
However, only 20% of women say they are comfortable with their level of financial knowledge, and in the United States women have been less likely than men to have completed basic retirement planning activities. LIMRA notes that saving can be difficult for women because on average they earn lower salaries than men, and they tend to be the ones who have to take time away from work to care for children and other family members. “The fact that women usually live longer than men only adds to the challenges women confront when planning for retirement and mitigating their longevity risk,” says LIMRA.