Lori Dickerson Fouché is Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of The Group Insurance Business at Prudential Financial, where she is responsible for the life, disability and voluntary product offerings, sales and account management, as well as service delivery and marketing. Before joining Prudential she served in a variety of senior management and marketing positions at Chubb & Son and was Member of International Executive Committee at Allianz SE. Lori holds a B.A. in history from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
“…75% of women surveyed say retirement security is important. But only 14% are confident they can meet that goal…”
Financial confidence gap around long-term financial goals for American women
When it comes to women’s confidence in achieving long-term financial goals versus the importance of achieving them, the “gap” remains far too wide.
According to our 2014 “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” five years into the financial recovery 75% of women surveyed say retirement security is important. But only 14% are confident they can meet that goal.
We’ve been tracking what we call ‘The Confidence Gap’ since 2010. In that time span, we’ve not seen it really move. Women have actually assigned less importance to some of the long-term goals they were more concerned about in 2010, when the crisis was still front-and-centre.
The Prudential research, titled “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women,” polled 1,407 American women and 606 American men between the ages of 25 and 68. A copy of the report, along with educational resources and information, is available at:
According to the study:
•Some 75% of women believe having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement is very important, but only 14% are very confident they will be able to do this. This gap is virtually unchanged from 10 years ago.
•Only 33% of women feel they are on track or ahead of schedule in planning for retirement, down from 46% in 2008.
•Many women, 66%, say it’s very important to keep pace with rising health care costs, but only 9% are confident they will be able to.
In light of these findings, it’s not surprising women are not self-assured when it comes to achieving their financial and retirement goals. Women are unsure of where to start with financial planning and say they are unsure of what they need to consider when evaluating options, but they are not seeking help.
Women who do not use a financial professional may be short-changing themselves. Those who work with a financial professional report feeling much more confident about their finances than those who do not.
These results all suggest women are gaining confidence in their ability to manage money. At the same time, it’s clear the financial services industry needs to start doing a better job reaching out to women and meeting their specific needs.