Why It’s Good That 76 Percent of Women Reported Being Their Household’s Primary Retirement Planner

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A new report shows that more women are taking on a greater role in investing and family financial planning — and this could spell great news for the economy.

Okay, hold up, how is this possible? No, I’m not saying that women will prevent the next (inevitable) financial disaster. Nor am I implying that women always do the right thing with money all the time (really, we don’t). But I am saying this: More women investing is a good thing for all of us. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the new stats.

A new study from DailyWorth, which was reported on by Reuters shows that 76 percent of women are now their household’s main retirement planner. This means that more women are deciding where and how to invest retirement funds — and, where applicable, leaving the guys out of it. Compare this to a 1993 survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which showed that over half of U.S. women at the time didn’t “feel prepared” for retirement, and it’s clear that women are stepping into the driver’s seat when it comes to financial planning, so to speak. What a difference two decades make.

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And, as Reuters also points out, women are accumulating a rapidly expanding cache of wealth — and our assets may reach $22 trillion by 2020 (this, as they note, makes us particularly appealing to investment advisors, for obvious reasons). Not only are women taking on a position of greater authority in terms of household cash (remember that women also make the bulk of the household purchasing decisions) — they’re also raking in more money. This is due to a variety of factors, including our increasing likelihood to take a place in the workforce (recent data from Catalyst shows that women 15 and older accounted for 47.3 percent of the workforce).

So, why is this a good thing for the economy? Can women — and more of us — in the investment world really change the economy? That may be the case — and it all comes down to personality.

While we’re not one to pigeonhole women, especially when it comes to personality, there are a few prevailing truths when it comes to women investors: We’re more cautious, less inclined to take risks and more likely to underestimate our own financial prowess. In short, women are a little more paranoid about financial peril. And the more ground-level investors (i.e. your average, everyday Jane) there are like that, the better.

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Consider Treasury Secretary Geithner’s harshly memorable depiction of the financial crisis this past April: “Most financial crises are caused by a mix of stupidity and greed and recklessness… you can’t legislate away stupidity and risk-taking and greed and recklessness.” Indeed, you can’t. But what you can do is incentivize people who aren’t risk-takers — and aren’t greedy or reckless — and get them into the game. (One only needs to see the story of MF Global to recognize how too many suits with too much money can go awry.)

On a micro-scale, more women making key financial decisions for their families could mean fewer investors taking on high-risk mortgages and fewer households overextending themselves when it comes to retirement. And all these things (household by household) add up.

So what are we to make of this? Yes, women are more likely to say they lack confidence when investing — and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Amy Tennery is the managing editor of The Jane Doughwhich provides news and insight on women in the business world and political arena. Tennery previously edited business news site Mogulite and was a reporter for the Real Deal, a New York City real estate trade publication. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, Slate and other publications.
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Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

It may come as a surprise but there is another angle to this I detest this as many would but when it is in the nes it has to come out .This is totally against the branding as we call it and then we complain CRM is doomed read on what we have in USA and this is not the first time. Mind you it is many places but they do not horn , raise flags of superiority above other. India is one but they are calm. It is offensive but like CIA FBI this is crime no one wants to touch and we call this too branding the women An investigation by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has revealed department officials engaged in unethical and possibly criminal conduct, including soliciting prostitutes and accepting gifts from corporate executives. Documents acquired from the U.S. Treasury Department's internal investigation arm show a now-retired human resources specialist working for the Treasury used government resources to allegedly solicit prostitutes. "In 2010, an OTS (formerly the Office of Thrift Supervision) employee 'misused' government resources to solicit prostitutes on three separate occasions via Craigslist," The Hill reports. "While working at the OTS, investigators said, the government staffer 'viewed websites offering erotic services on a weekly basis,'" the report added. The documents, which also reveal further misconduct ranging from sexual harassment to conflict-of-interest, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and posted online by the site govenmentattic.org. The U.S. Attorney's office in D.C. decided not to prosecute the federal worker, who had worked for the government for 36 years, even though the acts violated rules against "disgraceful conduct." Do they not use Jamp;j , CK products. I hate this comments but others may top this up for information and we may more ( I doubt less ) on this. I ought not to come in this your news letter but merchandise is all, food to fuel to moon and women I thank you No pun sad I feel but there it is I Thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA.


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