A number of factors could be driving a lack of confidence on the part of women as they manage their finances, said Anna Kamp, who works at the $1.4 billion Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union in St. Louis as a financial adviser for CUNA Brokerage Services Inc.
Findings from CUNA’s Women’s Financial Survey, released Aug. 6, revealed that despite effectively juggling checkbook balances, credit card payments and rainy day funds, 51.2% of the women who responded to the survey said they lack confidence that they’re managing their finances correctly.
At 59.1%, that lack of confidence was especially evident among the youngest demographic born between 1980 and 1993, the survey said.
“I think some of them could be timid based on their relationship in the household,” Kamp said. “If you have a stronger male in the home, a woman may be timid at home but her confidence might come out in the workplace.”
Having a spouse who is more acute with finances may also contribute to a woman’s lack of confidence. In certain regions of the country, some might take a back seat choosing to let their husbands take control of the finances and other related matters.
CUNA Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Paul Gentile said the survey’s findings revealed that women take all the appropriate measures to be confident in their financial literacy.
Kamp said credit unions can reassure women that they have the knowledge within them to stand boldly behind their financial management skills. Offering seminars tailored to women on topics such as investing, providing education on budgeting and the organization of household finances can be helpful. Kamp said at some of CUNA Brokerage’s client appreciation events, information folders will contain estate planning documents with additional sections that are specific to women.
Meanwhile, the majority of respondents in CUNA’s survey said that saving for retirement is their No. 1 financial priority. The trade group polled 1,042 via the Internet from a population of women nationally, with an even distribution of respondents born in each decade from 1920 to 1980, CUNA said.
More women in the workplace may be one reason why building retirement savings has become so pressing, Kamp noted.
“Now you have CEOs of major companies that are women. You have more women in politics,” she said. “The shift has led women to say ‘we’re not going to relay on a spouse or significant other for retirement.’ We want to have that same sense of accomplishment when our statements arrive every month or quarter.”
A 2012 MassMutual survey reported the difference between the average retirement account of men and women has narrowed to 38.25%.