Millennial Women Show Strong Interest in Personal Finance, but Lack Confidence to Take Action, According to Allianz Life Study

  Millennial Women Show Strong Interest in Personal Finance, but Lack
  Confidence to Take Action, According to Allianz Life Study

2013 Women, Money & Power Study Finds Younger Women Both Engaged and Confused

Business Wire

MINNEAPOLIS -- November 20, 2013

Although millennial women are eager to learn about personal finance and take
responsibility for their financial future, they also show a surprising lack of
confidence in taking financial planning action, according to the 2013 Women,
Money & Power Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
(Allianz Life). The youngest women surveyed (ages 25-34) indicated the highest
level of interest among all age groups in learning about personal finance
topics, including financial planning and investing, complex financial concepts
and even retirement planning. However, the perception that they have a lower
level of confidence in taking action was also evident, with a lack of
professional guidance and their relationship status as factors holding them
back.

Among all age groups surveyed, the study found that millennial women were the
most interested in learning about “financial planning and investing” (69%
versus the next highest age group, 65% for ages 35-44) and also “learning
complex financial topics like compound interest, market capitalization, debt
ratios and bond ratings,” (57% versus the next highest age group, 56% for ages
45-54). In addition, younger women had significantly higher interest in
retirement planning than the next closest age group, with 77% of millennial
women reporting interest versus 66% for the next highest group, ages 35-44.

“It’s encouraging to see younger women so interested in personal finance, but
these women really need to follow up that curiosity with an action plan that
will help them feel more secure,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer
Insights for Allianz Life. “Age or relationship status should not be a barrier
to building the foundation for a sound financial future. It’s never too early
to start financial planning.”

The 2013 Women, Money & Power Study was conducted with more than 2,000 women
ages 25-75 with a minimum household income of $30,000 a year.

Perceived Lack of Confidence

Unfortunately, the 2013 study found that many young women lack the
professional guidance to help them take the next step. Millennial women
reported the lowest level of professional guidance with more than eight in 10
(84%) saying they currently do not work with a financial professional,
significantly higher than the next highest age group (ages 35-44), at 68%.
However, even if they do work with a financial professional, most younger
women are confused about what financial knowledge they need. More than four in
10 (44%) millennial women say they “don’t know what to ask for” when seeking
financial information, 8 percent more than the next highest age group (36% for
ages 35-44).

Perhaps more worrisome, many millennial women cited their relationship status
as a major factor keeping them from serious financial planning. Nearly half
(49%) said that being single allowed them to put off any serious thinking
about financial planning, the highest of any age group (35-44 was the next
highest at 40%). But those in a relationship were also taking less
responsibility, with 39% of millennial respondents saying they focus on saving
money and let their husband/partner do the investing, also the highest among
all age groups (65-75 was the next highest at 34%).

Bag Lady Fears Highest Among Millennial Women

This lack of confidence also had a profound effect on their outlook for the
future. When asked if they “often” worry about losing all their money and
becoming a “bag lady,” the highest response came from the youngest age group,
with 12% of respondents ages 25-34 noting a high level of concern – versus
only 10% for the next highest group, ages 35-44. In total, 53% of millennial
women said they sometimes or often worry about becoming a bag lady, higher
than the average among all other respondents (47%).

Tips for Millennial Women to Take Action

According to Libbe, millennial women can take specific steps to gain more
confidence with financial planning:

  *Set and stick to a budget: Figure out how much money you need for
    essentials and how much is left over to save and invest. Setting a budget
    is a crucial part of this process.
  *Start saving today: Build your retirement nest egg today. Younger people
    may find this difficult with a limited income, but the more you save now,
    the greater the potential effect of compounding.
  *Invest in your company’s retirement plan: You’re leaving money on the
    table if you’re not contributing enough to maximize your company’s 401(k)
    match.  Although it feels like a challenge now, your 401(k) saving can pay
    off in the future.
  *Find a financial professional: Many young people feel they don’t have
    enough money to work with a financial professional. In reality, many
    professionals are happy to help younger clients. Take the time to research
    and interview potential candidates until you find the one who’s right for
    you and your situation.

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.

*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.

Contact:

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