Women Want More – Desire for Financial and Retirement Planning Knowledge Nearly Doubles Since 2006

  Women Want More – Desire for Financial and Retirement Planning Knowledge
  Nearly Doubles Since 2006

          Study Reveals Financial Industry Not Meeting Women’s Needs

Business Wire

MINNEAPOLIS -- April 22, 2013

More than six in ten women (62%) said they have an interest in learning about
financial planning, retirement planning and investing according to the 2013
Women, Money & Power Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North
America (Allianz Life), nearly double the amount (35%) who indicated interest
in these topics during the original study conducted in 2006. However, despite
innovations within the financial services industry, 70% of all women said they
believe financial information is hard to understand, up significantly from the
44% who felt that way during the initial Women, Money & Power Study.

The 2013 study, conducted with more than 2,000 women ages 25-75 with a minimum
household income of $30,000 a year, also found that 68% of women felt
financial planning materials are dull and boring. Additionally, 54% said
financial material “seems like it’s in a foreign language,” and a full 40%
said that none of the information is “applicable or useful.”

Surprisingly, despite indications that women want to learn and want help
translating financial material, 69% of women do not see their financial
professional as a “go to” source for information about how to save, spend and
invest. In fact, only 38% of women noted they had a financial professional. Of
those who had a financial professional, more than a third (38%) said their
financial professional is “not very responsive” or “doesn’t seem all that
interested in my personal situation” (40%).

“It’s definitely concerning that the financial services industry doesn’t seem
to have learned much in the last seven years about customizing solutions to
female clients,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie
Libbe. “Women are in more financial control than ever before, and regardless
of their high level of interest in learning about financial topics, the
information and planning resources made available aren’t doing enough to
change negative perceptions about the industry.”

Retirement Planning: Whom to Trust?

According to the 2013 Women, Money & Power Study, today’s women feel more
empowered about financial planning and are more responsible for financial
decisions than ever before. More than 90% of women said they feel that they
need to be significantly more involved in financial planning than in the past.
They also report that they are equally responsible for major investment
decisions and retirement planning in their household (57%).

Although negative perceptions about the financial services industry remain
strong, many women do see the value in having a financial professional to help
guide them. In the study:

  *77% of women who reported they have a financial professional said they
    were more confident and prepared for their financial future,
  *75% of respondents recommend having a financial professional to other
    women,
  *75% of women feel they earn better returns on their money with a financial
    professional, and
  *72% of women felt more self-sufficient having a financial professional.

“It’s clear that working with a trusted financial professional who understands
women’s unique perspective on financial topics is something many women are
seeking,” adds Libbe. “Allianz Life is committed to helping financial
professionals gain a better understanding of what women want in financial
planning and be more responsive in creating customizable solutions.”

Women also noted the importance of feeling engaged and having the ability to
learn in a non-intimidating environment with other women. Yet, despite a
desire to connect, the Internet was cited as the most popular source for
financial information (54%), with financial professionals coming in at 39%.

Most Wanted: Retirement Lifestyle

The top financial topic that women said they most want to learn about –
attaining a retirement lifestyle – is not likely the top focus for many
financial professionals. Women are asking for clear and simple-to-understand
financial information that is available on the Internet.

The vast majority of women surveyed noted they are more concerned about
attaining a retirement lifestyle than gaining specific investment guidance.
Eighty-five percent of participants want to learn how to achieve their desired
lifestyle in retirement while an equal number want guidance on how they could
guarantee income for life. Seventy-five percent want to know how to invest and
plan for retirement with a modest income and 67% are interested in the basics
of “buying smart” (where to save, managing a budget, etc.) Getting guidance
about the stock market was the least interesting to women, with only 58%
finding the topic appealing.

In addition to highlighting the most popular retirement topics among women,
respondents also provided feedback about the perfect ways to learn about
financial information. They asked for financial information to be clear,
simple and easy to understand, with affordability and convenience ranking as
the second and third most important characteristics.

The 2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study results previously
highlighted women’s perceptions, goals, and fears when it comes to their
finances. In upcoming releases, insights will reveal how the modern family
structure is influencing women’s role in money management and the emergence of
the “Woman of Influence.”

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 more than 2,000 women, ages 25-75,
with household income of $30,000/year or higher. The results presented
represent the percentage of the women who responded to each respective
question or set of questions.

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Contact:

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Sara Thurin Rollin, 763-765-6703
sarathurin.rollin@allianzlife.com
 
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