Women focus more of their attention on immediate family and household concerns than long-term, big picture financial needs, according to a new survey by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
According to its fourth annual Worth survey, women cited retirement (42 percent), expenses (41 percent) and health care costs (30 percent) as their top financial concerns, whereas men listed expenses (38 percent), the economy (35 percent) and retirement (30 percent) as their biggest worries.
While women do worry about saving and investing, fewer women than men have a financial plan (50 percent vs. 61 percent) and are less actively involved in retirement plan goal-setting, savings and investing.
Living within their means is important to both women (89 percent) and men (82 percent), as is saving for emergencies and their future, yet more women feel they are behind on these goals as compared to men. Women say they feel most behind when it comes to saving for or paying for their children’s college education.
“We’re troubled by the survey findings that indicate women are worried about financial challenges of nearly every kind but seem only to make progress against lesser concerns,” said Deborah Poley, Worth Marketing Manager for Penn Mutual. “We have to help women get a better handle on all of their financial concerns and give them the resources and the knowledge to address such short-term goals as household budgeting, as well as long-term planning issues like retirement and saving for their children’s education.”
The annual tracking study was conducted by Penn Mutual from March 27 to April 10, 2012, and encompassed interviews with a national sample of women and men ages 25 and older, resulting in a respondent base of individuals ages 25 to 90. The sample included those with and without life insurance, and both married and single parents. Individuals ages 30 and over had a household income of $50,000 or higher; those younger than age 30 had an income of $25,000 or higher.