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A new LIMRA Secure Retirement InstituteWomen with Advisors study finds that two-thirds (66 percent) of women who work with a financial advisor want to stay with that advisor for the rest of their lives. The study found that older women and women with long-term relationships (10 years or more) were more likely to feel loyal to their current financial advisors.

These results indicate that these women are happy with the service they are receiving. Yet the study revealed there is room for improvement. Four in ten women say their financial advisor could do more to anticipate their needs and many want their advisors to take a more proactive approach in communication. The study found women with advisors were far more concerned with specific risks surrounding their retirement security than men were. For example, 56 percent of women worry that reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits could undermine their retirement security. This is 10 percentage points higher than the proportion of men expressing concern about these public policy risks. Nearly half of women fear that health care costs (beyond what Medicare and Medicare Supplement will cover), a prolonged stock market downturn, and increased taxes would have a negative impact on their retirement lifestyles (chart).

What Do Women Value Most?

The Institute found nearly half (45 percent) of women say minimizing the risk that they will run out of money is the most valuable service that advisors can provide. Just over a third said protecting portfolio principal is most valuable. Because women are more risk averse than men (42 percent of women have little to no investment risk tolerance vs. 34 percent of men), it is not surprising that these two services were most valued by women. Rounding out the top five services women most value from their advisor are creating a formal retirement income plan, having a more realistic picture of their retirement lifestyle, and maintaining perspective and thinking clearly about events and trends.

Male vs. Female Advisors?

Institute research finds that women are more likely to use female advisors than men (34 percent vs. 13 percent of men).  This is especially true for women who are 43 years old on average and those with fewer financial assets. That said, 8 in 10 women say the gender of their advisor doesn’t matter.

Recent research finds that women control more than $11 trillion or 39 percent of the investible assets in the U.S.1 Based on this new Institute study, women also represent a valuable and loyal advisor client base. Advisors and companies who recognize and fulfill the needs of this client base are likely to be rewarded.

LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute surveyed 1,776 U.S. adults aged 20-75 who were working with a financial professional in June 2016 who were retired or working full-time or part-time and  were involved in household financial decisions.

LIMRA members can read the full report, The Road Ahead: Building Female Client Relationships to Last.


1 “Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth,” Center for Talent Innovation

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