Women play an outsize roll in their families’ finances, yet a majority of them are unprepared to give or receive wealth, new research by RBC Wealth Management shows.
In a survey released this week, 98% of women said they were the sole or joint decision maker for banking and 84% held joint or full responsibility for family investments.
The research also showed that inheritors are generally unprepared, uninformed and unsupported, women somewhat more so than men.
Only 29% of women surveyed had received guidance from benefactors on how to use inherited assets, compared with 37% of men. And just 22% of women said they had a full wealth transfer strategy in place, compared with 30% of men.
These findings are important because women, for a variety of reasons, will receive the majority of the estimated $3.2 trillion that will transfer to the next generation in the U.S. in coming years, according to the report.
“Women are becoming an economic powerhouse in the U.S.,” Angie O’Leary, head of wealth planning at RBC Wealth Management — U.S., said in a statement. “A growing number are moving into the corporate executive ranks while others are starting their own businesses.
“Couple that trend with the fact that women, on average, live longer than men, and you can see how women are both creating and controlling more wealth than ever before. As such, it is important that they have wealth transfer discussions with their benefactors and have a solid wealth transfer plan in place.”
The research, conducted from June to August 2016, received responses from 3,105 wealthy individuals living in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., including 1,752 women who had an average net worth of $4.4 million. These included professionals, retirees and business owners, as well as givers and recipients of wealth.
Fidelity Investments recently reported that American families may be less prepared than they think with regard to discussing estate plans and leaving a legacy.
UBS has introduced a toolkit to help well-to-do families transfer wealth to the next generation.
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