What You Need to Know
- Seventy-two percent of women surveyed reported having a strategy to protect themselves from outliving savings.
- Eight percent of female investors liquidated assets from retirement savings plans in response to crises, vs. 15% of male investors.
- Two-thirds of female investors reported working with an advisor, the main reason being to feel more confident in their financial future.
The onset of the pandemic significantly influenced how women viewed their finances, according to a study released Thursday by Nationwide Retirement Institute.
The study found that 49% of women with investable assets of $100,000 or more who are primary or shared decision-makers regarding long-term financial planning for themselves or their family were optimistic about their financial outlook in 2021, up from 32% in 2020.
With more experience living in the “new normal” created by the pandemic, women have become more proactive with their finances, the study said.
Seventy-two percent of female investors reported that they have a strategy in place to protect themselves from outliving savings, 83% have a strategy to generate guaranteed income in retirement and 59% have one to help protect assets against market risk.
Moreover, 68% of female respondents said they will revise their investing strategy more conservatively after having experienced how market volatility can significantly affect their portfolio, and 73% will revise their investing strategy to be more actively managed.
“Women investors are not taking their experiences living through the COVID-19 pandemic or other financial crises lightly,” Ann Bair, senior vice president of marketing for Nationwide Financial, said in a statement.
“After experiencing the upheaval of these events, from market volatility to juggling childcare during remote learning, women are being more proactive in thinking about and planning for their futures.”
The Harris Poll conducted an online survey from July 22 to Aug. 16 in the U.S. among 1,632 advisors and financial professionals and 363 female and 475 male investors.
Taking Action, but Proceeding Cautiously
About half of women surveyed said the 2008 crash and the pandemic recession prompted them to think about their financial future and affected how they approach finances and investments. Twenty-three percent said they have started an emergency fund, and 21% have established and are following a budget.
Women have already demonstrated a stronger likelihood than men to make better long-term decisions when facing financial crises, according to the study.
For example, 8% of female investors liquidated assets from qualified retirement savings plans to cover financial obligations in response to crises that had a profound effect on them, compared with 15% of male investors.