A new survey finds that only 51 percent of women say they feel confident or very confident about their finances.
Working with a trusted advisor can help individuals build a plan to help them be financially secure.
Providing this peace of mind is how financial planning helps you worry less and live more confidently.
When it comes to how women feel about their finances, a new survey from Northwestern Mutual finds that just 51 percent of women say they feel confident or very confident. Just 43 percent of women feel financially secure and only 44 percent think they will be financially prepared for retirement. This compares to 59 percent of men who feel financially secure and 61 percent who think they will be financially prepared for retirement.
of women say they feel confident or very confident about their finances.
“What our research tells us is that there is a gender gap in financial confidence,” said Tim Gerend, chief distribution officer at Northwestern Mutual. “The impact of inflation and the worries people have about recession and retirement are felt unevenly, but they are significant for both women and men. The bottom line is this: Uncertainty about the future is cutting into confidence for many Americans, and that’s where a trusted advisor can help individuals build a plan to help them take control of their financial futures.”
This isn’t news to most women: In fact, 66 percent of women think their financial plans need improvement. Younger women are most inclined to agree: Gen Z (79 percent) and Millennials (76 percent).
But even if you’ve thought about working with a financial advisor, misconceptions about how the process works might be holding you back. Read on for what you need to know about how working with a financial advisor could help give you the confidence boost you’ve been looking for.
How an advisor can work with you to create a financial plan
It all starts by simply sitting down and having a conversation with a financial advisor. He or she will get to know you by asking you what’s important to you in your life right now—and what you envision for your future. This discussion may also help them identify some goals you may not have considered. In the near term, are you planning to get married, buy a home or start a family? If you’re a bit older, are you getting ready to send your kids college, start a new business or prepare for a comfortable retirement?
Once your advisor clearly understands your goals, he or she will ask you what financial strategies you already have in place. It’s likely you’re already doing some things that would be included in a plan, such as saving for retirement.
The next step is helping you prioritize what’s most important so you can think critically about your goals. For instance, is buying your dream house at the top or your wish list or would a starter home be a better fit? Looking further ahead, is it more important for you to have enough money to retire early or to have enough to see the world in retirement—even if it means working a little longer?
As you work through these questions, your answers will identify potential gaps in what you’re already doing financially. Now your financial advisor can tailor a plan specifically designed to help you balance the life you want to live today with the goals you plan to achieve in the future.
What’s included in a financial plan
A good financial plan includes a wide range of options that can help set you on right path while being flexible enough to account any detours down the road. These may include:
- An emergency fund
- A plan to manage debt
- Insurance to protect your family
- An investment plan to grow your money
- An estate plan
- A retirement plan
Your plan may focus more heavily on one area than another based on your situation. Depending on your personal situation, your financial advisor will integrate components like these to help you grow and protect your wealth.
How your financial plan can increase your confidence level
Knowing you’re on track to reach your goals and that you have a plan for things that could go wrong can help you feel more confident not just about the future but also about spending your money on what’s important today.
And as your life evolves, so will your plan. Good plans are built to be flexible over time. Providing this peace of mind is how financial planning helps you worry less and live more.
Still have questions? Take our quiz to learn more about how you can benefit from a financial plan that you create with a Northwestern Mutual advisor:
Quiz: Is Financial Planning Right for Me?
About the 2023 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study
The 2023 Planning & Progress Study was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual among 2,740 U.S. adults aged 18 or older. The survey was conducted online between February 13 and March 2, 2023. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, household income, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. A complete survey methodology is available.