Money & Career
Empowering Women to Take the Financial Wheel
4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Empowering Women

Women control more than 51 percent, or $14 trillion, of American personal wealth. They earn more college degrees. In the past three decades, their average income has soared over 65%.

We’re talking about women and they are gaining career success and financial resources at an ever-increasing rate. 

"Clearly, women are more educated, accomplished and empowered than ever before,” says Denise Rau, Certified Financial Planner and President of Rau Financial Group.  "But when it comes to investing their money, they haven’t made as much progress.”

A new report from UBS (a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company) released last year found that 56% of married women leave investment and long-term financial planning decisions to their husbands, and 85% of women who defer to their husbands believe their spouses know more about financial matters. This wasn’t just found in older generations. Millennial women are more likely to leave investment decisions to their husbands than any other age group, based on the report, which included surveys with nearly 1,700 married couples.

Rau says this is very concerning when you look at two important factors relating to women. "Women are living longer than men. The average life expectancy for a woman is five years more than a man's, and the divorce rate among couples 50 and older has almost doubled in the past two decades. This means that eight out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their financial well-being at some point in their life but may not be prepared to handle the long term planning aspects.” 

What’s behind the disparity in these key financial areas? "It’s not as if women aren’t making financial decisions every day – for their household and on the job. But when it comes to planning for retirement or investments, study after study has found that most women are either uninterested or believe their husbands are more qualified,” says Rau. She says there are several reasons for this. 

Gender roles are certainly hard to shake, with men traditionally handling the long-term financial planning decisions instead of their wives. Time is another consideration. Whether married or not, women have many demands on their time. They take on the majority of household duties, including childcare and chores, as well as paying bills and tracking spending. It’s not surprising then that most married women prefer their husbands to take care of it. 

Lack of confidence is also a big factor. Studies show both men and women are convinced that men are better equipped to invest, understand financial topics and make long-term financial decisions. "This belief is totally unsubstantiated," says Rau. "Women need to understand that you don't need to be an expert to handle retirement and investment decisions. You have to think of managing your money as just one part of managing your life; like getting dressed every day or taking the garbage out once a week. It simply has to be done.”

To begin meaningfully engaging in your long term financial security, regardless of gender, Rau says you just need to be able to answer straightforward questions about what your goals are for your life and who are the people that matter most to you. "All it takes is starting the conversation – with your spouse, friends and/or a trusted financial advisor – to begin to take a more active role in this area of your finances. You’ve worked hard for your success; you need to take active role to make sure you will be able to enjoy the rewards when you retire.”  

Here are more statistics that reinforce the financial strength of women as a demographic:  

Women earn nearly 60% of the bachelor and master degrees awarded in the U.S., and 52% of the doctoral degrees

Women fill 52% of management, professional and related positions

Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households

Women make over 80% of all household buying decisions

Investment advice offered through GWM Advisors, dba Rau Financial Group, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors and Rau Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial. To begin planning for your financial future, visit or call 337-480-3835.

Posted by: Kristy Armand | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Finances

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