The aim of the survey was to find out people’s attitudes, preferences and behaviors about receiving financial advice. The results show that just 56% of women express confidence that they are saving enough for retirement, compared with 65% of men.
While the women surveyed say they would be more likely to change their savings and spending habits after receiving financial advice, nearly half of them say such financial advice will cost more than they can afford. In addition, one in three say they do not have enough time during the week to seek out such advice.
“Women have unique needs when it comes to achieving financial well-being. They tend to live longer than men. They often interrupt their high-earning years to care for children or elderly parents, which is why it’s so important that women connect with financial advice they trust, so that they feel empowered to act on it,” says Teresa Hassara, executive vice president and head of the Institutional Business at TIAA-CREF in New York.
As an example, adds Hassara, those who have had a retirement advice session with one of TIAA-CREF’s financial consultants report higher confidence levels about retirement.
The survey also shows that when women do reach out to a financial adviser, many subsequently take action. In fact, 62% monitor their savings and 58% modify their spending habits. In addition, nearly 40% of women who receive financial advice change asset allocations in their retirement plan account. The research suggests the perceived challenges of time and cost get in the way of experiencing the benefits of financial planning.
When it comes to financial planning, the survey results show that women are more focused on unexpected events, such as divorce or loss of a loved one, rather than milestones like getting married or planning for retirement. However, says Hassara, these “what if” moments can also mean having the ability to take advantage of exciting opportunities.
“Imagine that your child is accepted to a great school or your dream house suddenly becomes available. Having a financial plan helps you have the resources to enjoy happy surprises, not just make it through the challenges,” she adds.
The survey was carried out by KRC Research on behalf of TIAA-CREF. Conducted by phone, a national random sample of 1,000 adults, age 18 and older, were queried between August 28 and September 2.
Details about the survey results can be downloaded here.
TIAA-CREF is a provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.