What Women Want … in Financial Education

The number of women interested in learning about financial planning, retirement planning and investing has nearly doubled since 2006, Allianz Life finds. 

According to the “2013 Women, Money and Power Study” from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, nearly two-thirds (62%) of women are interested in extending their financial education, up from 35% in the original study. More than 90% of women said they feel they need to be more involved in financial planning, and 57% reported being equally responsible for investment and retirement decisions in their household.

However, the majority (68%) of responding women find financial planning materials dull and boring. Fifty-four percent of respondents said financial material “seems like it’s in a foreign language,” and 40% feel as if none of the information is “applicable or useful.”

Despite a desire to learn about financial materials, 69% of respondents do not see their financial professional as a good resource, and only 38% claimed to have a financial professional. Of those with a financial professional, many said their financial professional is “not very responsive” (38%) or “doesn’t seem all that interested in my personal situation” (40%).

“Women are in more financial control than ever before, and regardless of their high level of interest in learning about financial topics, the information and planning resources made available aren’t doing enough to change negative perceptions about the industry,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights at Allianz Life.

Although negative perceptions remain, many women see the value in working with a financial professional. Allianz Life’s study found:

  • 77% of women who reported they have a financial professional said they are more confident and prepared for their financial future;
  • 75% of respondents recommend having a financial professional to other women;
  • 75% of women feel they earn better returns on their money with a financial professional; and
  • 72% of women feel more self-sufficient having a financial professional.

The main concerns facing women’s retirement planning are achieving their desired lifestyle in retirement (85%), knowing how to invest and plan for a modest retirement income (67%) and the basics of saving and budget management (67%). Only 58% found the stock market to be an appealing topic.

More than 2,000 women ages 25 to 75 with a minimum household income of $30,000 annually participated in the study.