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Inflation Is Women's Biggest Financial Worry: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • Even among the highest earners, only 44% said they knew how to address inflation risk in their portfolios.
  • Only 12% of women said they were risk-averse investors.
  • Asked about the most common regrets they might have in 20 years, respondents’ answers were personal rather than financial.

Inflation risk is the most commonly cited financial concern among women, ahead of other serious issues, according to the latest data release from HerMoney and the Alliance for Lifetime Income’s State of Women 2022 study.

Seventy-three percent of female study participants said they were worried about inflation, while 71% worry about illness or disability, 70% about market volatility, 58% about longevity and 43% about unemployment.

The study examined women’s relationship with various financial risks in their lives and their investment portfolios.

It found low levels of inflation preparedness across all income levels. 

Even among the highest earners, women whose annual income is more than $200,000, only 44% said they know how to address inflation risk in their portfolios.

“Inflation protection can be boiled down to a few key steps,” Jean Chatzky, HerMoney chief executive and Alliance for Lifetime Income fellow, said in a statement: 

  • Prioritize paying off any high interest rate debt.
  • Delay taking Social Security to increase your monthly take.
  • Maintain a diversified investment portfolio for growth, while using annuities or pensions to cover your fixed costs in retirement.

“It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on where your money is going to keep a lid on unnecessary and impulse spending,” Chatzky said.

The online study was conducted from June 14 to July 11 among some 1,100 women who are members of the HerMoney community. They range in age from 18 to 75, and most are college-educated and work full time. Nearly two-thirds are married or partnered.  

Degrees of Risk Aversion

The survey found that only 12% of women consider themselves risk averse when it comes to investments. Sixty-two percent said they are bigger risk-takers than their parents, while 35% are more so than their partners.

“Women embrace risk in the market but should also realize ways of protecting their future selves,” Jean Statler, Alliance for Lifetime Income chief executive, said in the statement. “Four in 10 women agree with the statement that protecting their portfolios is more important to them than high returns.” 

Forty-three percent of respondents said they take more risks with their money than with their life or work: careers, 32%; personal lives, 30%; and investments, 12%.

Asked the most common regrets their “future selves” might have in 20 years, respondents’ answers were personal rather than financial, with only not saving more money for later cracking the top five regrets, cited by 45%.

Fifty-seven percent said they would regret not traveling to places outside their comfort zone, 43% not making new friends, 41% not working less to spend more time with family and 37% not saying what they really think.


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