WASHINGTON, D.C. – Survey results released today by Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), show that 73% of working women are engaged in managing their long-term finances, separate from household budget management. At the same time, the survey, conducted by Artemis Strategy Group, showed that 57% of working women feel knowledgeable about personal finance, savings, and investments.
“These numbers challenge the outdated stereotype that women focus only on household budgets,” Neely said. “Women are clearly active participants in making long-term financial planning decisions about investments, insurance and other matters. At the same time, the survey shows that too many women are not confident in their decision making, which could have ramifications for their financial futures.”
Neely said the study results carry an important message, as Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit kicks off today in Washington, D.C.
“Financial literacy and the personal empowerment it helps create ought to be a driving force for women leaders,” Neely said. “With women as the breadwinner in 40% of U.S. households, improving their financial confidence through financial literacy must be a priority.“
Neely, a participant in the Fortune summit, was recently named one of Washingtonian magazine’s most powerful women. She offered these suggestions to help women increase their financial confidence:
- Lean in on money talk. Make retirement security a part of the conversation with friends. Women across the country are working full-time or part-time. They are CEOs of their homes. They are nearing or in retirement. Women are a powerful force in the American economy. These collective powers can elevate the conversation about financial protection and security.
- Work with a planner to close the retirement savings gap. Preparing for retirement is more than just contributing to a retirement savings account. Modern retirements can last 20 to 30 years, so not running out of retirement savings is an important consideration. There are financial products available to help. Life insurance, individual long-term care insurance policies, and at least one individual annuity are critically important components for a financially secure future. Experienced financial professionals can help navigate options.
- Teach daughters (and sons) about the importance of preparing for a strong financial future. A high income is not necessarily related to financial security. One quarter of the most financially secure households earned $50,000 or less. The key to success is having a plan and taking steps such as owning life insurance or disability insurance and having emergency savings.
“The financial tide can turn for women, and that’s incredibly powerful,” Neely said. “The clear challenge is to help build financial acumen for all women, no matter where they live or how they work.”
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) advocates on behalf of 280 member companies dedicated to providing products and services that promote consumers’ financial and retirement security. 90 million American families depend on our members for life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, dental and vision and other supplemental benefits. ACLI represents member companies in state, federal and international forums for public policy that supports the industry marketplace and the families that rely on life insurers’ products for peace of mind. ACLI members represent 95 percent of industry assets in the United States.
To learn more, visit acli.com and our news and views site, IMPACT, at impact.acli.com.
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