How the Recession Made Some Women Financially Savvy
1:45 pm, July 18th | by Grace Rasmus
Let’s be real: the recession sucked. People across the country lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, and their confidence in the future. However, according to a new study, there was one silver lining to that whole mess: for some women, the recession led to a major “financial awakening.”
The 2013 Allianz ”Women, Power, and Money” study surveyed 2,213 women ages 25-75 about their financial habits and discovered that one in five participants fell into a particular subset they called “women of influence.” These women had experienced some kind of “financial awakening” during the recession and now have exemplary financial habits.
According to the study, women in this group were more likely to feel financially secure, have confidence in investing decisions, and be the primary breadwinner in the family than the average survey respondent. These “women of influence” are mostly white, between the ages of 45 and 54, and just as likely to be single as married. They tend to have more earning power, making an average of $57,000 a year vs. $48,000 for all women surveyed.
“The ‘women of influence’ are an elite group,” Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights for Allianz, told USA Today. “They’re almost like the super women of financial engagement.”
Previous studies have shown that women get better with money as they grow older and that they might be more successful at managing investments than men. This, alongside the new information from Allianz, may make it surprising that women often report a lack of confidence when it comes to managing their finances.
The recession, along with the evolution of the modern family, has contributed to women’s desire to take a more active role in personal financial management, said Lisa Hanson, a financial planner based in Philadelphia who works primarily with single women. The fact that women are staying single longer, divorcing more frequently, entering into same-sex relationships, and outliving men has led them to put more attention on personal finances.
“We had a worst-case scenario a couple years ago, and it is a wake-up call to a number of people, women in particular,” Hanson told USA Today, “primarily because of longevity and just the fact that I think women are wired differently. It’s important [for them] to feel a sense of security.”