The New Household CFO

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Gray Easterling
Gray Easterling

The Insurance NewsNet Magazine for August, 2013 had the results of an interesting survey conducted by Allianz: “Allianz Life 2013 Women, Money and Power Study”. Note that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.8% of the people living in this nation are female. In the 2000 census, 12.9 million women were head of households with no spouse present; the 2010 census showed 15.3 million. In the Allianz survey, 57% of the women surveyed said they both have more earning power and handle major investment decisions and retirement planning. Changing family dynamics resulting from events such as blended families, same-sex couples and aging parents moving in have altered the “traditional female role” with respect to money and financial planning strategies. Women are finding themselves in roles where they are responsible for long term financial needs and responsibilities.

 

The Allianz survey reports that 49% of women who responded believe that they have a great deal of responsibility for major financial decisions; in fact, half of those surveyed said that they are the primary decision makers. More than half the married women position themselves as chief financial officer of their household; almost two thirds of the women note that they have not learned a lot about financial matters from their husband or partner. Part of the survey gave evidence to the rise of a more empowered, informed and financially active women, distinguished by higher incomes and higher incidences of post graduate educations. Fifty percent own their own business and eighty percent are more likely to have achieved a position as director or corporate executive. They have more confidence when it comes to saving, spending and investing wisely.

 

According to the survey, the majority of households questioned included at least one nontraditional element (single parent, parent or adult child in the house, for instance) that create new demands for women. Among those women currently married, 33% have been through a divorce. Forty-two percent of divorced women have not remarried or partnered since the divorce. The number of women who are married is smaller than the combined number of women who are single or divorced. These non-traditional family structures are creating a new level of the need for financial awareness. Forty-eight percent of divorced women say their divorce created a financial crisis, and two-thirds say their divorce made them realize how important it is to be financially aware and independent. The number one topic is a desire to learn about preserving their preferred lifestyle in retirement, although 12 percent of all women surveyed say that they have not begun saving for retirement. The number one fear is the fear of running out of money. This concern was prevalent at all income levels.

 

My comment to all this is that help is available to those feeling financially stressed or “uneducated” in family finance. If you don’t have a financial advisor, ask your friends for recommendations. If you don’t have friends, ask your pastor. If you don’t have a pastor, you should, because “in this divine dance we are all dancing, God may lead, but it is entirely up to us whether we will follow…The only thing that is absolutely sure in this scenario is that we have a partner who is with us and for us and wants us to have life,” says Barbara Brown Taylor. God’s promise is forever. God’s love is eternal. Accept these gifts and find peace and joy.

 

Securities, insurance and investment advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor 3416 North Blvd, Alexandria, LA 71301, (318) 448-3201.  The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of FSC Securities Corporation.