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Despite Growing Status as Primary Breadwinner and Household CFO, Women Still Fear Becoming “Bag Lady” a new  2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study Reveals.  

This is a surprise considering 60% of women say they are the primary breadwinner in their household

  • 54% of respondents describe themselves as the household CFO.
  • 49% sometimes fear becoming a “bag lady”.
  • 27% of those earning more than $200,000 per year share that fear.

Inside the study

  • More than 2,200 women ages 25-75
  • Minimum household income of $30,000 a year
  • “Bag Lady” fear extends to all corners of life and affluence
  • Was highest among single respondents at 56%
  • Significant concern for divorced women 54%
  • Widows 47%
  • Married women 43%

Despite feeling more empowered about financial planning

  •  Forty-two percent said they believe financially independent women are intimidating to men and often end up alone
  • (31%) said those women are hard to relate to and often don’t have many friends.
  •  This feeling was even higher among single women at 47% and 32%, respectively.

Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe comments-

“When Allianz Life conducted the initial wave of the Women, Money & Power Study seven years ago, we discovered that women everywhere – even well-educated, successful, financially independent women – have major gaps and unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money,”  “Today, women clearly feel more invested in financial planning, however, fears of fiscal failure still persist. The real message here is that the financial services industry needs to help women learn about money and prepare for their retirement.”

In the Age of the Financially Empowered Woman

  •  57% of all women surveyed said they both “have more earning power than ever before” and also “handle major investment decisions and retirement planning.”
  • 55%  noted they take the lead in suggesting new investing or retirement ideas.
  •  60% said they were responsible for handling tax preparation and planning.
  • 90%  of women surveyed agreed that in today’s world, women need to be significantly more involved in financial planning than in the past
  • 96% of divorced women felt this way.
  • 67% of women surveyed said that becoming more knowledgeable and involved in managing their finances has improved the quality of their life, 71% of  single women agreed.

“Allianz Life is dedicated to the mission of achieving financial literacy and independence for every American, so we’re especially keen to design solutions that are relevant, responsive, and sensitive to helping women accomplish greater financial security,” noted Libbe.

Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 Drives Behavior Change

  •  68% say they have increased their financial involvement since the crisis
  • Women ages 45-54 (72%) and widows (75%).
  •  43% of women surveyed said they don’t feel any smarter about how to manage their money than before the crash. That feeling was shared by 36% of women with the highest income (household income of $200,000+).

When asked what key issues will have the greatest effect on their retirement outlook

  • “lack of adequate retirement savings”
  •  ”the future of Social Security,”
  •  ”rising health care costs,”
  •  ”unemployment,”
  • “tax changes.”

Retirement is the worry that keeps most women up at night.

Second only to loss of spouse/significant other. “Running out of money in retirement” is a worry that keeps 57% of women up at night and is the number one worry for single and divorced women.

 Full study available here.

For help you may ask questions in the comments

Or click here to contact me privately: Tim Barton Chartered Financial Consultant

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