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According to the study, one in four Americans say they'd like to be more cautious with their money, but feel they have a lot of catching up to do. When comparing men and women, the study showed:
- Men are more likely to say they're "Disciplined" financial planners (37% vs. 31%), but also that their financial planning needs improvement (66% vs. 59%).
- Women are more inclined to take immediate action to spend less – 44% plan to cut spending in the next 12 months vs. 34% of men.
- Men are twice as likely to say they've fallen behind due to market losses on investments, and admit they've suffered declines in their retirement savings over the last three years (25% vs. 9%).
- Women are less likely to say they're comfortable with the risks associated with growth strategies when investing for the future (10% vs. 16%).
An analysis of why Americans feel they've fallen behind, uncovers additional differences. The study found:
- Women are more likely to cite unexpected expenses (60% vs. 43% of men) and debt (54% vs. 40%) as reasons for wanting to catch-up. These were also top responses from men.
- Men attribute a lack of effective planning for the long-term as the #2 reason for falling behind (42% vs. 32%).
"While the differences in perspectives between men and women are interesting, ultimately our study found that too many people – regardless of gender – ended up in the exact same place: trying to play catch-up," said
Hindsight is 20/20: Save Early, Save Often
When people 55 and older were asked about the best financial decisions they've ever made, men and women agree that saving money in one form or another is key. The differences lie in how they did it:
- Men are more likely to say they invested heavily in their 401(k)s (35% vs. 21%); and that they invested the majority of their savings in the stock market (17% vs. 8%).
- Women's top tactics were saving early, paying off their mortgages, buying real estate at a good price and buying products with guarantees, like insurance and annuities.
Across all age groups, men are more likely to say they make decisions on their own (75% vs. 64%), while women are more likely to get financial planning advice from family (28% vs. 20%).
Men Feel More Financially Secure
Despite men's greater comfort with risk, and higher probability of having suffered market losses, they still feel more financially secure than women. Study results showed:
- 47% of men feel financially secure right now, compared with just 40% of women
- One third of women surveyed do not currently feel financially secure
- Only 53% of women are financially prepared to live to age 75, compared to 60% of men Just 32% of women say they have the financial resources to live to age 95, vs. 38% of men
About the Research
This is the latest set of findings released from Northwestern Mutual's 2013 Planning & Progress Study, which explores the state of financial planning in America today, and provides unique insights into people's current attitudes and behaviors toward money, goal-setting and priorities.
More results from this study can be found at northwesternmutual.com.
The study was conducted by independent research firm Harris Interactive, and included 1,546 Americans aged 25 or older who participated in an online survey between
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2013 according to FORTUNE® magazine and has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 156 years. As a mutual company with
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for
SOURCE Northwestern Mutual