A study commissioned by LearnVest, the go-to personal finance and lifestyle site for women, unveiled some jarring stats about women’s attitudes, behaviours, and needs surrounding money today.Chief among them was the desire for sound, unbiased information that doesn’t talk down to women, and a financial planner to help them navigate the confusing landscape.
Launched in July 2011, the study took what founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel called “a snapshot of the average American woman’s finances” by surveying 637 women between the ages of 21 to 59.
A whopping 66 per cent admitted they didn’t have a clue where to access relevant financial information, while 90 per cent were even more baffled by how much to save for retirement or what type of accounts they needed to open. Among the other disturbing stats LV turned up:
- 84% are not very comfortable in their ability to set specific financial goals.
- 54% have credit card debt, averaging $9,000 across 3.1 credit cards.
- 41% of women do not have an emergency fund, leaving them vulnerable in the face of financial setbacks like job loss or injury.
- 27% do not have any type of retirement account, and of those who do, 48% have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, while 57% have less than $20,000.
von Tobel said the findings weren’t all that surprising given what she hears from readers all day long and how taboo money matters can be in the household. Though the study doesn’t say whether women are worse off than men, it does prove that “it’s very clear [they] want support and that they’re engaged,” she said. “A large number of women actually enjoy thinking about and saving money, and it’s interesting to them and something they actually find relaxing.”
The thing truly keeping women from enlisting a financial guru is a perceived lack of access, the study found. 80-seven per cent said they want to work with a financial planner, but only 17 per cent actually hired one.
“The main deterrents are cost, the perception that they need a higher net worth for a financial advisor to be interested and useful, and the difficulty in finding a good financial advisor,” von Tobel said.
Thankfully, you don’t need a bank balance that rivals Warren Buffett’s to get your finances back on track.
LearnVest is doing its part to bring savvy financial products to the masses, and today the company unveiled a line of customised financial planning products.
They include The Budgeting Plan, which pinpoints your bad spending habits (including that name-brand addiction) and the Complete Financial Plan which helps subscribers get their money house in order by setting specific goals like budgeting for a wedding or a baby.
As an exclusive for Your Money readers, LearnVest is offering 25 per cent off on their products when you enroll on LearnVest.com using the promotional code BusinessInsider25. The offer expires Jan. 15, so step to it.
Watch this video to learn how it works: