What You Need to Know
- Women of color anticipate it could take them an average of six years for their finances to rebound.
- Ric Edelman and HerMoney media CEO Jean Chatzky will hold a free webinar focused on women and money on Tuesday.
- Just 27% of women seek advice from financial advisors vs. 36% who receive advice from their parents.
A recent survey highlights the difficulties faced by women due to the pandemic — particularly women of color.
The vast majority of women surveyed recently for Edelman Financial Engines, 71%, say COVID-19 has affected their financial situation. Moreover, one in three expect it could take a year or more to recover from the impact, and women of color anticipate it could take them an average of six years to do so.
The poll of 1,000 women, conducted by Wakefield Research, also found that most women — 61% — experienced significant adverse financial events during the pandemic. Over the past year or so, 26% had to take money from their savings or investments, 19% lost their jobs or had their pay cut; and 18% incurred health care expenses.
Half (51%) of women are more worried than they were before the pandemic and 26% are much more worried about achieving financial milestones. Women (37%) are more likely than men (29%) to be concerned about increasing emergency savings.
Women “are facing economic and financial challenges right now in the pandemic that have set them back,” Edelman Financial Engines Founder Ric Edelman said in an interview. “Industries hard hit by the pandemic are those that employ more women than men — such as travel, hospitality and retail.”
Nonetheless, relatively few women seek advice from financial advisors, 27%. More have received advice from their parents, 36%.
In general, financial planning is a women’s issue for several reasons, including the gender gap in pay and the fact that women spend less time in the workforce — mainly due to the demand for child and elder care, according to Edelman.
“Overall, this means women accumulate less for retirement savings and receive less in Social Security benefits,” he explained.
Another important fact, Edelman says, is that the average wife gets more in Social Security benefits by being the spouse of a worker than by being a worker. Plus, women outlive men by five years on average.