Single women feel more financially knowledgeable than married women — but less so than single men, according to a new report from UBS.
The findings from a new UBS Investor Watch Pulse — titled “Single point of view” — show that 61% of single men said they “know a lot about investing,” compared with 45% of single women and 28% of married women who feel this way.
“Women underestimate what they know. Men can be overconfident. I think each have different perceptions about what they really know,” said one 60-year-old single woman interviewed for the survey.
Similarly, when asked if they monitor the markets regularly, 63% of single men said they did compared with 47% of single women and 37% of married women.
A 53-year-old single woman interviewed for the survey told UBS, “For sure I am more involved than if I were married. As a single person, there is only me to make all decisions and consider all investment options.”
For this report, UBS surveyed 883 single investors — 414 women and 469 men — who have never been married. To be included, millennials needed at least $250,000 in investable assets, Gen X $500,000 and boomers at least $1 million.
The report also included results from the Own Your Worth Investor Watch report, which included 632 U.S. married women with at least $1 million in investable assets, for comparison purposes where applicable.
Among single women, millennials are the least engaged with their finances. According to the report, 61% of single millennial women say they put other parts of their lives ahead of their finances, compared with 38% of single Generation X women and 28% of single baby boomer women.
The survey also found that many women think they should be doing more with their finances, including 59% of single millennial women, 47% of Gen Xers and 22% of boomers.
Millennial women are also willing to tap their retirement accounts early. According to the report, one-third of millennial women have already dipped into their retirement accounts, compared with just 9% of single Gen X women and 5% of single boomer women. Another 29% of millennial women would consider doing so.
One 39-year-old single woman interviewed for the survey said, “It is very stressful to me to think about money. I would like to not have to worry about it at all.”
Perhaps this reasoning explains the percentage of women, particularly young women, who expect a spouse to provide financial security.
The survey found that 82% of single millennial women in the U.S. want to get married someday, as do 48% of Gen X women and 21% of boomer women. When they do, most of these women expect their spouse to provide financial security.
“I would want to be involved in long-term financial decisions, but would feel more comfortable with someone else leading and explaining it to me,” said one 30-year-old single woman interviewed for the survey.
According to the survey, 79% of single millennial women said they expect their spouse to provide financial security, as did 57% of Gen X women and 48% of boomer women.
Single women’s long-term financial expectations in a relationship may differ from reality, though.
The survey found that 83% of single millennial women expect to participate in investing, but only 39% of married millennial women actually participate.
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