WINDSOR, Conn. April 29, 2010 — More than half of the middle-income women surveyed felt unsatisfied with their current financial situation and uncertain about their future financial needs and almost a third of them don't know how to achieve their financial goals, according to a new LIMRA report, Reaching Out to Middle-Income Women.
"What's striking is that consistently, women in the middle market expressed more concern about their financial well-being than men did," said Nilufer Ahmed, senior research director, LIMRA Markets Research. "The recession has been hard on middle-income Americans, with many indicating that they have not made any progress or fallen behind on their financial goals. Yet, the women we surveyed seemed to be more receptive to listening to financial services representatives for the tools and advice needed to achieve their financial goals."
LIMRA research found that 9 in 10 middle income families consider having adequate life insurance coverage to be one of their financial goals. While a third of all respondents felt they had not achieved this goal, women were more likely to feel this way than men. Married women, in particular, tend to believe that their households need more life insurance coverage compared to married men. The research also revealed that women (51 percent) are more likely to favor an annual or biannual insurance check-up than men (44 percent).
Affording long-term care is also a higher priority for women than men, with more than a third more women than men saying they worry about not being able to afford long-term nursing care.
While retirement savings is a universal concern, women are more likely than men to feel like they are not saving enough (54 percent for women vs. 49 percent for men). Research has found that women tend to be more risk-adverse and less likely to invest in stocks and mutual funds, which could impact their ability to grow their savings. LIMRA experts suggest that companies should provide more information about appropriate investments, which could help them attain higher returns on their assets.
Only four in 10 women (and men) say they develop a budget and save accordingly and less than 40 percent say they want help from a financial advisor to develop a lifetime or retirement income plan. Most are unsure of where to get help or the costs involved.
"It's important that companies provide budgeting and debt reduction information through their Web sites, brochures and their financial professionals," said Ahmed. "Companies and financial professionals should also encourage the use of financial planning and be up front about any costs involved.
LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.