Women have never felt more empowered than we do today. There are more female CEOs in the Fortune 500 than ever. Women are running for office in record numbers. More women are pursuing entrepreneurship. Women are earning more bachelor’s degrees than men. More working mothers are the primary or sole earners in their households. The list goes on and on.
These remarkable strides are what make the results of a recent study so staggering. The 2019 Women, Money, and Power Study, commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company, found that, while the past several years have put a spotlight on female empowerment, women are struggling to make progress with financial literacy. “These findings were quite surprising because women have come a long way when it comes to our roles in work and family, yet we don’t feel prepared financially,” said Aimee Lynn Johnson, vice president of financial planning strategies, Allianz Life. “This begs the question, at a time when women are accomplishing so much, why aren’t they feeling more empowered about their financial future?”
For women to achieve true empowerment, it is imperative to close the financial literacy gap. Here are some fundamental reasons why:
Women live longer
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, the average male life expectancy is about 76 years, while a woman’s is a little over 81 years. That means that retirement planning is even more critical for women. Health care is another financial concern. Of the 5.3 million people aged 65 and older who have Alzheimer’s, 62% of them are female, according to a report by the Alzheimer’s Association. By the time a woman is 75 years old, there’s a 70% chance she will need assisted care at some point during her life. Rising health care costs, coupled with long-term care costs increasing at a rate higher than inflation, will require women to plan ahead financially.