Despite Growing Status as Primary Breadwinner and Household CFO, Women Still
Fear Becoming “Bag Lady”
2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study Reveals both Confidence,
Apprehension about Increased Financial Acumen
MINNEAPOLIS -- March 27, 2013
Although 60% of women say they are the primary breadwinner in their household
and more than half (54%) of respondents describe themselves as the household
CFO, nearly half of all women (49%) sometimes fear becoming a “bag lady” with
more than a quarter (27%) of those earning more than $200,000 per year sharing
that fear, according to the 2013 Women, Money & Power Study* from Allianz Life
Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life).
The study, conducted with more than 2,200 women ages 25-75 with a minimum
household income of $30,000 a year, revealed this fear extends to all corners
of life and affluence, and was highest among single respondents at 56%, but
also a significant concern for divorced women (54%), widows (47%) and married
Despite feeling more empowered about financial planning and having more
responsibility for financial decisions than ever before, many women believe
that empowerment is potentially alienating to both men and other women.
Forty-two percent said they believe financially independent women are
intimidating to men and often end up alone, while nearly a third (31%) said
those women are hard to relate to and often don’t have many friends. This
feeling was even higher among single women at 47% and 32%, respectively.
“When Allianz Life conducted the initial wave of the Women, Money & Power
Study seven years ago, we discovered that women everywhere – even
well-educated, successful, financially independent women – have major gaps and
unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money,”
said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “Today,
women clearly feel more invested in financial planning, however, fears of
fiscal failure still persist. The real message here is that the financial
services industry needs to help women learn about money and prepare for their
Age of the Financially Empowered Woman
Despite lingering insecurities, today’s woman feels more empowered about
financial planning and is more responsible for financial decisions than ever
before. Fifty-seven percent of all women surveyed said they both “have more
earning power than ever before” and also “handle major investment decisions
and retirement planning.” More than half (55%) noted they take the lead in
suggesting new investing or retirement ideas and 60% said they were
responsible for handling tax preparation and planning.
Women also believe that today’s woman needs to be much more financially
involved and are clear in their understanding that their financial knowledge
translates to an improvement in the quality of their lives. More than 90
percent of women surveyed agreed that in today’s world, women need to be
significantly more involved in financial planning than in the past, with the
highest response (96%) coming from divorced women. Sixty-seven percent of
women surveyed said that becoming more knowledgeable and involved in managing
their finances has improved the quality of their life, with the highest
response (71%) coming from single women.
“Allianz Life is dedicated to the mission of achieving financial literacy and
independence for every American, so we’re especially keen to design solutions
that are relevant, responsive, and sensitive to helping women accomplish
greater financial security,” noted Libbe.
Financial Crisis Drives Behavior Change
The financial crisis of 2008-2009 was a major driver of this behavioral
change, with seven in ten (68%) saying they have increased their financial
involvement since the crisis, particularly women ages 45-54 (72%) and widows
(75%). Yet, despite the increased involvement after 2008, 43% of women
surveyed said they don’t feel any smarter about how to manage their money than
before the crash. That feeling was shared by 36% of women with the highest
income (household income of $200,000+).
This builds on the idea that, in addition to the bag lady concern, a majority
of women still have significant concerns about retirement planning and their
level of preparedness for retirement. When asked what key issues will have the
greatest effect on their retirement outlook, “lack of adequate retirement
savings” was the highest ranked issue by 43% of women surveyed, besting other
economic concerns such as “the future of Social Security,” “rising health care
costs,” “unemployment,” and “tax changes.” Similarly, retirement is also the
worry that keeps most women up at night. Second only to loss of
spouse/significant other, “running out of money in retirement” is a worry that
keeps 57% of women up at night and is the number one worry for single and
Additional results from the 2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study will
be released in the coming months, including data on how women prefer to learn
about finances, what they look for in a financial professional, the emergence
of the “Woman of Influence,” and how changing family dynamics are shifting
women’s roles with respect to money and financial planning.
About Allianz Life
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For in 2013, has been keeping its promises since 1896.
Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their
retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life
insurance products. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz
Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry
with 142,000 employees worldwide. More than 78 million private and corporate
customers rely on Allianz knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to
help them make the most of financial opportunities.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America offers insurance and annuities
in all states except New York. In New York, products are issued by Allianz
Life Insurance Company of New York.
*The 2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study was conducted by Larson
Research + Strategy in December 2012 with 2,213 women, ages 25-75, with
household income of $30,000/year or higher.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Sara Thurin Rollin, 763-765-6703
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