Women Who Work With Financial Professionals Feel More Prepared for Retirement

Separately, CFP launches an endowed scholarship to cultivate more female financial advisers.

New LIMRA research indicates women who worked with a financial professional expressed more readiness for retirement than those who did not. Meanwhile, the influential financial professional group Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. announced a new program it hopes will broaden diversity among financial advisers.

A 2022 survey from Edelman Financial Engines found that 82% of employees prefer to work with a financial adviser from a similar background and who shares common values, and 2013 data from an Insured Retirement Institute study says 70 percent of women prefer to work with female advisers. The CFP Board aims to cultivate a new generation of female financial professionals.

The LIMRA study, Impact of Financial Professionals on Retirement Security, surveyed Americans ages 40 to 85 who had household investable assets of $100,000 or more. The research, conducted in 2022, investigated how working with a financial professional affected people’s decisions about money and investment.

Of the women who reported receiving financial advising, 40% said they felt prepared for retirement, compared to 27% of women without advising who reported feeling prepared, according to the LIMRA research. Women advised by a financial professional were more likely to carry out important planning activities for retirement. Notably, 50% of women with an adviser estimated how many years their assets and investments would last in retirement, while only 36% of counterparts without advisers did the same, according to LIMRA.

Interestingly, women not working with a financial professional were slightly more likely to determine their health care coverage in retirement and determine what their social security benefits would be at different retirement ages.

Yet one-quarter of advised women had a formal written retirement plan, while 10% of unadvised women had one. Written plans lead to higher levels of confidence levels and a greater probability of purchasing an annuity, previous LIMRA research found.

Of women who work with a financial professional, 52% said they were interested in converting a portion of their assets into a lifetime-guaranteed annuity in retirement, eight percentage points more than women who did not work with a professional.

WIN Endowed Scholarship Program

To attract more female financial professionals who might make women more likely to consider working with a financial adviser, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning announced on Tuesday the launch of the WIN Endowed Scholarship program.

The scholarship recognizes the 10th anniversary of the CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative, or WIN, which seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in the financial planner workforce.

Qualified students will be awarded up to $5,000 to complete an undergraduate-level or a certificate-level CFP Board-Registered program. After the scholarship recipient has completed the required coursework, they will be eligible to take the CFP exam and pursue the next steps to attain CFP certification.

“By becoming financial planners, women can empower themselves and other women to take control of their finances and achieve financial independence,” said Kevin Keller, the CFP Board’s CEO, in a statement. “They can help educate women about financial literacy, investment strategies and retirement planning, which can be particularly valuable in a society where women often face financial challenges and inequalities. The WIN Endowed Scholarship program will help to ensure that talented and motivated women have the support they need to pursue a career in financial planning and earn their CFP certification.”