Financial Revolution Finds Its Way to Women

Ten years ago, Oppenheimer Funds conducted a survey of more than 1,000 men and women about their personal finances and financial attitudes. The results of that survey were published in Money magazine. The 1992 survey showed that 62% of women surveyed didn't know how a mutual fund worked and only half were involved in their families' investment decisions.

Ten years later, the survey has been repeated, and the results show a startling change in the financial acumen of women. Today, nearly 80% of the women in the study indicate they have a greater knowledge of investing than they did just five years ago. More than 50% know how mutual funds work, and 63% are involved in the family finances.

Other survey results show the following information for the women who were surveyed:

  • 59% are more interested in investing than they were five years ago.
  • 38% have worked with a financial advisor.
  • 79% consider themselves more knowledgeable about investing than their parents.
  • 41% participate in a 401(k) plan.
  • 36% own an IRA, SEP-IRA, or Keogh plan.

The survey showed that the more affluent women are, the more likely they are to know how a mutual fund works and to have taken the steps necessary to prepare for retirement.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently surveyed men and women about their confidence in retirement planning. Results of that survey for the women participants include the following:

  • 65% are somewhat confident or very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably through retirement.
  • 67% are somewhat confident or very confident that they are doing a good job of preparing financially for retirement.
  • 43% are somewhat confident or very confident that will have enough money to cover long-term care expenses in retirement.
  • 64% have saved for retirement.
  • 27% have done a retirement savings needs calculation.
  • 30% feel they are on track for saving for retirement.
  • 4% feel they are ahead of schedule on saving for retirement.

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