|by Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAY|
The recession may have derailed many financial lives, but for women especially, it also led to a financial awakening.
New data show that while more women overall have indicated an interest in financial planning and become more involved in family finances since the recession, a subset of women have emerged who have become especially informed, taking charge of managing their money and making financial and investment decisions. The data, given exclusively to USA TODAY, is from the fourth installment of
The study found that one in five women can be considered part of this group — Allianz calls them "women of influence." They were identified based on how they answered specific questions related to how much responsibility and understanding they have regarding investment decisions and financial products.
The group was more likely to feel financially secure, have confidence in investing decisions, and be the primary breadwinner in the family than the average survey respondent, which included more than 2,000 women ages 25-75 with a minimum household income of
The women of influence tend to have more earning power, making an average of
"The women of influence are an elite group," says
These women were more likely to feel prepared for their financial future and more likely to be active in financial planning than the average respondent. Just 1% of them say they haven't started saving for retirement, compared to 12% of all respondents.
Still, more women in general indicated an increase in financial understanding and involvement since Allianz first issued the survey in 2006.
Studies have shown that women have historically lagged behind men when it comes to financial literacy and comfort with investing. But the number of women interested in learning about financial planning, retirement planning, and investing nearly doubled between 2006 and 2013, from 35% to 62%, the Allianz survey shows.
The recession combined with the evolution of the modern family have contributed to both the need and desire of women to take a more active role in personal financial management, says
And the recession served as the ultimate motivation.
"We had a worst-case scenario a couple years ago, and it is a wake-up call to a number of people, women in particular," Hanson says, "primarily because of longevity and just the fact that I think women are wired differently. It's important (for them) to feel a sense of security."
|Copyright:||Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com|