Financial “success” differs by gender

By Tammy Burns | December 7, 2011 | Last updated on December 7, 2011
2 min read

Women and men may agree on how to define financial success, but not necessarily on how to get there, according to the latest TD Waterhouse Women Investor Poll.

The survey of Canadian men and women aged 45 to 64 found that saving enough for a comfortable retirement is the biggest measure of financial success for both sexes (70% of women and 66% of men). However, when it came to achieving financial success, the genders had different ideals.

While women were more likely than men to cite having an emergency fund as a factor for financial success (69% and 60%, respectively), both women and men defined financial success by similar attributes: being debt free (67% and 62%, respectively) and being able to pay bills on time (67% and 61% respectively).

The poll also indicated that men are more likely to prioritize paying off credit cards in full (64% vs. 56% of women) and contributing to an RRSP (41% of men vs. 34% of women), whereas women are more likely to suggest following a budget to manage spending (54% of women vs. 46% of men).

An interesting response was that the majority of Canadians don’t consider having money for the ‘finer things in life’ as a measure of success, with only 20% of Canadians saying they define financial success as being able to afford luxuries such as a flashy car, summer home or expensive jewelry.

“It’s reassuring that Canadians realize that long-term priorities such as saving and investing are important when it comes to financial success,” says Sandy Cimoroni, president of TD Mutual Funds. “Instead of defining financial success by luxuries, they are practicing responsible financial management by prioritizing retirement savings, managing their current expenses and saving for the unexpected.”

Tammy Burns