Women assuming greater role in retirement planningNews added by Benefits Pro on June 19, 2014
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By Nick Thornton

Gone – long gone – are the days when retirement investment was reflexively left to the man of the house.

Ameriprise Financial’s Women and Financial Power Study revealed just how far gone, finding that nine out of 10 women say they are primarily or jointly responsible for long-term saving and investment decisions in their household.

The survey, which explored the investment habits of women aged 25-70 with at least $25,000 in investable assets, found that more women are going it alone when it comes to preparing for retirement.

Two out of five (41 percent) women considered themselves the primary financial decision-maker. Most of those women (61 percent) are unmarried or divorced, but 37 percent of the women who are the primary decision maker said they were either married or in long-term relationships.

Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, believes that women, particularly those in the boomer generation, are more financially empowered than ever. “It’s promising that women ages 55-70 are the most likely to feel in control of their finances, have a financial plan and value financial security.”

More boomer women say it’s their responsibility to understand their financial situation than do their younger counterparts (91 percent compared to 82 percent). They are also significantly more likely to feel comfortable with their financial plan (76 percent compared to 55 percent of younger women).

Perhaps boomer women feel more secure because they’ve graduated beyond many of life’s most trying financial tests. High rates of divorce, unemployment during the recession, and the extreme burdens of supporting their children through college have all conspired to place real pressure on Gen X women (35-54) as they move into the second half of their professional lives. More then two in five (42 percent) have seen a significant decrease in assets in the last five years, where only 29 percent of older women and 24 percent of younger women reported significant decreases that were not replenished by the broad recovery in equity markets.

Half of the Gen X women surveyed say they don’t seek outside financial advice, suggesting a real need for sound retirement advisory services.

A disconcerting number of Gen X women (41 percent) report having no financial plan whatsoever.

Roughly the same number holds for millennials, though they have more time to make up for lost years. About 25 percent of boomer women report having no financial plan.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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