MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Women are taking the reins of their household finances but many are still hesitant to do so when managing their career, according to the newly updated Allianz Women, Money, and Power® Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®). The majority of women in the study (51%) claim they are the chief financial officer (CFO) of the household, and more married women (37%) report being the primary breadwinner of the family (compared to 31% in the 2013 study). Additionally, 53% of women report they either have a “great deal of responsibility” or they “do it all” when managing the household’s long-term savings and investments.
Despite having such a large impact on household finances, the number of women who say they “have more earning power than they’ve ever had” has decreased to 50% (compared to 57% in 2013). Factoring into this perceived decline in earning power, less than half (44%) claim they have 'leaned in' at work by asking for a raise or promotion they thought they deserved.
“Women are taking a larger role in managing household finances and are gaining more responsibility for the financial success of their family,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “The savviness that women exhibit with their household finances can translate to being more assertive and having confidence to take risks in their careers.”
Financially Stable but Lacking Certainty
Women, Money, and Power also found the majority (58%) of women feel they are more financially savvy than their spouse or partner, and nearly seven out of 10 respondents (67%) report that becoming more knowledgeable and involved in managing finances made a difference in their quality of life. However, while 68% say they feel financially secure, many women still report uncertainty about their financial decisions. Sixty-one percent of women wish they had more confidence in their financial decision-making and 63% wish they knew more about financial planning and investing.
“While women may be satisfied with their current financial situation, having more financial knowledge can help build a better future and instill confidence,” added Libbe. “By utilizing available resources or working with a financial professional, women can gain the insight they need to achieve financial security.”
Having the Right Support
Even though most women claim they are financially savvy, nearly two-thirds report financial information and the various investment options available to them can be overwhelming. Additionally, running out of money in retirement and managing the rising costs of health insurance remain the top worries that keep women up at night.
Having the right support can make a major difference. Thirty percent of women report using a financial professional for guidance, and 75% of those wish they had done it sooner. Still, many women feel left out of the financial planning conversation. More than half (51%) claim the professional treats their spouse/partner as the decision-maker, and this happens regardless of whether the financial professional is male or female. Choosing a financial professional who understands the needs of the modern family and can help sift through investment choices is a key factor for women.
Advice for Future Generations Mirrors Financial Behavior
Looking ahead, when asked, “What advice should women pass on to their daughters or granddaughters about money?” women thought future generations should focus on having financial independence and creating a good financial plan. The vast majority of respondents advise to: start planning early (81%), not depend on others for financial security (72%), create a good financial plan (72%) and learn how to invest money (65%).
In comparison, a smaller number of women (56%) advise their daughters or granddaughters to advocate for themselves (or ‘lean in’) at work to get the salary they deserve.
“It is increasingly important to establish a solid financial foundation that can keep up with increased costs of living, and this all starts with earned income,” added Libbe. “As more financial responsibility lands on women’s shoulders, working women need to advocate for themselves to gain the equal earning power they deserve. Future generations of women who see this behavior will then be more confident to do the same, lessening the income disparity we see today.”
About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2016, has been keeping its promises since 1896. Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products. In 2015, Allianz Life provided a total of $2.4 billion in benefit payments that supported policyholders’ financial objectives. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with 142,000 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide. More than 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to help them make the most of financial opportunities.
*The Allianz Life Women, Money, and Power Study was commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America in October 2016 with some questions resurveyed from the 2013 Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study. 1,416 women, ages 25-75 with household income of $30,000/year or higher, completed the online survey.