Skip to Main Content
Prudential logo
Women and Money logo

Women are taking control of household finances, but are unprepared to meet long-term financial goals

Five years into the financial recovery, Prudential's 2014-2015 Research Study, "Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women," reveals that while women are taking control of household finances, they are no more prepared to meet long-term financial goals than they were a decade ago.


This year's findings suggest that women are less concerned about their financial security than they were after the 2008 financial crisis, but need to take more action in achieving their long-term financial goals.


The study also focuses on generational differences in financial behavior among women and the experiences of Asian American, African American and Hispanic women. It also provides a regional snapshot that highlights key financial differences among women by their geographic location. (see map below).


Read Prudential business leaders' thoughts on the study results



Key findings:

  • Women feel more confident about their ability to manage day-to-day household finances, with nearly a third giving themselves an "A" for their knowledge of managing money (33 percent) and managing debt (29 percent).
  • Some 75 percent of women believe having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement is very important, but only 14 percent are very confident they will be able to do this. This gap is virtually unchanged from 10 years ago.
  • Many women, 66 percent, say it's very important to keep pace with rising health care costs, but only 9 percent are confident they will be able to.
  • Among married women who are their family's primary breadwinner, 65 percent say they take the lead role in financial and retirement planning.

Explore key differences among women's financial experiences and behaviors by region
(Regional averages vs. National average)

West

West

(Regional vs. National averages)

  • Most likely to be ahead of schedule or on track with financial planning (39% vs. 33%)
  • Most likely to save for large purchase such as house or car (16% vs. 10%)
  • Most likely to cite insufficient assets as reason for not using a financial professional (54% vs. 46%
  • Least likely to be married (53% vs. 61%)
  • Least likely to use a windfall to contribute to retirement savings (9% vs. 15%)
x

South

South

(Regional vs. National averages)

  • Most likely to have household income under $25,000 (19% vs. 17%)
  • Most likely not to have any financial products in own name (27% vs. 22%)
  • Most likely to say being financially secure in the event I outlive my spouse is very important (67% vs. 33%)
  • Most likely to say giving to charities, communities or educational foundations is very important (31% vs. 27%)
  • Least likely to rely on financial recommendations of a financial professional (12% vs. 15%)
x

Midwest

Midwest

(Regional vs. National averages)

  • Most likely to have children (66% vs. 60%)
  • Most likely to say don't understand industry language or jargon (42% vs. 32%)
  • Most likely to use a financial professional (39% vs. 31%)
  • Least likely to have household income over $100,000 (24% vs. 28%)
x

Northeast

Northeast

(Regional vs. National averages)

  • Most likely to say it is very important to protect investments and retirement savings from volatility (58% vs. 51%)
  • Most likely to say passing on money to children or heirs is very important (36% vs. 31%)
  • Most likely to say obtaining money to start or grow a small business is very important (19% vs. 14%)
  • Most likely to rely on print news (34% vs. 29%) and social networking sites (17% vs. 12%) for information about financial and retirement products and services
  • Least likely to have children (54% vs. 60%)
  • Least likely to use a financial professional (26%)
x

ABOUT THIS STUDY

This is Prudential's eighth biennial study on Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women, which surveys women's attitudes, behaviors and financial knowledge, as well as their financial goals and confidence in meeting those goals. This survey polled 1,407 American women and 606 American men between the ages of 28 and 68, from April 2-14, 2014. The survey was designed to reflect the female population, and the data were weighted to match the U.S. Census on age, education, race/ethnicity, income and region, with a margin of error of +/- 2.18%. Respondents are voluntary panelists in the Harris Interactive Poll Onlinesm Panel. All results shown are percentages unless otherwise labeled. Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding and multiple responses allowed for some questions. The demographic characteristics of these online panelists are comparable to the U.S. population. No income or financial decision-making qualifications were required to participate in the study.

Results of the survey reflect broad generalizations, averages and only some of the characteristics of the broadest depiction of the women and diverse communities. As such, results or analyses do not necessarily describe some or all of the groups that comprise those market segments or communities. Prudential recognizes that substantial variations in individual experience exist and this survey should not be used as a basis for assuming that all persons within those segments and communities have the characteristics cited.

Insurance issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Each is a Prudential Financial company that is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Our policies contain exclusions, limitations, reduction and terms for keeping them in force. A licensed financial professional can provide you with complete details. The availability of other products and services varies by carrier and state. Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and other financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your personal tax and legal advisors.

0264481-00001-00