Retirement, health care, and the cost of living are the three most pressing financial issues concerning men and women, according to a February investor survey conducted by Millionaire Corner. But their priorities between these and other issues are characteristic of their money management attitudes.
Over a quarter of men and women (29.5 and 26 percent, respectively) are most concerned about having adequate retirement savings. For many, the economic collapse devastated savings, but as the economy continues on its deliberate recovery, confidence in the ability to retire comfortably is on the rise. A survey last month of more than 9,000 workers by Towers Watkins found that 68 percent said they were “very” or “somewhat confident” about having sufficient resources to live comfortably through the first 15 years of retirement, up from 63 percent in 2010 and 61 percent in 2009.
Women, who are regarded as more nurturing than men, express slightly more concern over the cost of health care than men (22 percent vs. 20 percent, while men are more concerned about inflation and living expenses (19 percent vs. 15 percent).
Men and women are virtually on the same page when it comes to concerns about issues of job security and the value of their primary residence, which, before the recession, most counted on that being their major source of retirement income. A near-equal percentage are also concerned about educational expenses for their children or grandchildren.
Several studies have found that women are not as confident in their financial knowledge and investment skills as men. Our February survey found that less than twice as many women as men consider themselves very knowledgeable about financial products and investments. And while virtually no men would cop to being not at all knowledgeable, 5.7 percent women described their financial literacy this way.
That may be why they place more importance on keeping their financial situation on track. Our survey found that women place a slightly higher priority than men on reducing their personal debt (11 percent vs. 8 percent) as well as having enough money saved (9 percent vs. 7 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.