When targeting female investors, advisors should understand how each age group — baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials — differ from each other in interests and needs and tailor their marketing accordingly, said Lori Hubbard, regional director of MFS, who spoke at the Commonwealth Summit for Women Advisors on Tuesday discussing why 50% of the population is not a niche.
The landscape has changed dramatically since the 1950s when women were expected to be homemakers. Today, 44% of women are primary breadwinners, 50% are in a managerial job or professional occupation, and women now control $72 trillion globally, a number that has doubled since 2010, Hubbard said in her Zoom presentation during the virtual conference.
What are the key differences that advisors need to understand?
Baby Boomers: Gray Divorce
Baby boomers, generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, have always had a high divorce rate and are continuing to split up in retirement. Hubbard says that 87% of female boomers have been married, but divorce in the empty-nest stage of life is increasingly common. Further, 69% of the time the divorce is initiated by the wife.
Studies have shown that when suddenly single due to death or divorce, a woman will leave the family advisor within 18 months. Widowhood on average occurs at age 59
, and generally women outlive their spouses by five to seven years.
This generation needs help now and likes a holistic touch. For example, one advisor she knows was asked by a client for information on divorce for his daughter. The advisor sent a divorce worksheet to him. The client had money with two other advisors who said they would help once the daughter’s divorce was finalized. But once it was finalized, the client moved his money from the other advisors to the first one. Plus, the advisor got the daughter’s business.
“It’s impactful to be a holistic advisor during emotional times,” she said.
Also, boomer women who had less access to defined contribution plans than younger generations especially worry about Social Security benefits. Advisors need to help them wade through that morass, especially because since 2010, there has been a 10% decrease in Social Security Administration staff, which means backlogs and delays.