While women are taking charge in the workplace, they continue to lag behind men in financial planning. The gender gap widened in Q1 2012, according to a report by Financial Finesse, an American financial education company.
Key findings include:
- 43% of women have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, compared to 63% of men;
- 52% of women are comfortable with the amount of non-mortgage debt they have, compared to 71% of men;
- 37% of women have taken a risk-tolerance assessment and are aware of their conservative, moderate, or aggressive investment strategy, compared to 57% of men; and
- 25% of women rebalance their investment accounts, compared to 49% of men.
The gap was narrowest in retirement and estate planning.
According to Liz Davidson, CEO and founder of Financial Finesse, women face more financial challenges than men because they live longer. Also, nine out of 10 will be responsible for their finances at some point due to divorce or death of a spouse, finds the National Center for Women and Retirement Research.
There is some good news, however, because more women are seeking financial education—about 2 to 1 compared to men, finds the report.
“As employers deliver financial education programs that reach women, we should start to see this gap narrowing,” she says.