Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bridging the Confidence Gap

"And if Prince Charming does come along, he may have his own financial challenges. Heck, his horse is likely to be leased." -Michelle Singletary, Washington Post

A new study by The Hartford Financial Services Group and MIT AgeLab called "Why Women Worry" found that women are more worried about inflation, health and outliving money than men. Considering that, in comparison to men, women make less money, live longer, and are more likely to take on caregiving roles, it is not surprising that women worry more about their financial futures, especially given today's economy. A poll by the National Women's Law Center that was mentioned in "The Color of Money," a recent Washington Post article, draws a similar conclusion: women are more likely than men to feel that they are falling behind economically. The article also brings up an interesting point based on a recent Prudential Financial study- that women lack confidence when it comes to handling finances. We spend a lot of time talking about the wage gap, but what steps do we take to close what Prudential Financial calls "the confidence gap"?

Remember the song "If I had a Million Dollars?" Well, if I could rewrite the song, I might change the lyrics to "If I had a million dollars, I would buy you long-term health care insurance, pay for your education, open an IRA, maybe even hire a financial planner." Yes, I would like an exotic pet (like a llama or an emu) and a tree fort with a refrigerator. But like most women, I'd rather be financially secure and worry free.

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