Only 10% of women say they have their stresses about finances in order. Another 14% worry about money every single day and the rest several times during the week or month, a recent survey found.
Even high-earning women, defined as those who have a household income of more than $200,000, worry about money, according to the research from HerMoney and the Alliance for Lifetime Income. Almost half said they worry about money several times a month. The survey included responses from more than 1,000 women in the HerMoney community, a media company created by personal finance author Jean Chatzky focused on women and their financial well-being.
Millennial women were more likely to worry – 64% of millennials, compared with 60% of Generation X and 51% of baby boomers. Single women were more likely to stress about finances throughout the month than those who were in relationships (and 19% of single women said they were stressed about money every day compared with 11% of those who were in relationships).
Various stressors sparked concern for women, including not having enough money saved and healthcare costs. They were also afraid of what market volatility could do to their assets and if or how they’d receive long-term care in the future.
“The bottom line is that the antidote to worry is financial education, the right financial professional and enough protected income to cover basic expenses for as long as you live,” Jean Statler, chief executive officer for the Alliance for Lifetime Income, said in a statement.
Women have historically earned less than men, and as a result, may have had more challenging retirement prospects. Lower earnings not only equates to less money in paychecks to devote to current financial obligations and future retirement savings, but also how much money someone receives in Social Security benefits (earnings history is a major component in the benefit calculation). Women have also been more likely to leave the workforce midcareer to care for loved ones, including children or elderly sick relatives.
Financial education does seem to help women worry less about their financial security. Many women worry about their finances several times a month, but less so when they know wealth-building strategies – 50% of women who were aware of these steps were worried several times a month, versus 80% who were not aware of these strategies, the survey found. Another seven in 10 women said they worried when they didn’t know how to make their money last, compared with 45% of women who did have an understanding of preserving their wealth.