A recent Allianz study reveals the profile of a more financially empowered woman.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the way women relate to money has given rise to a new type of woman: the Woman of Influence. This select group exemplifies today’s more empowered, informed and active woman with respect to finances, according to the 2013 Women, Money & Power Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life).
The study found that one in five women fit this profile based on a number of criteria, including activity in major investment decisions, good understanding of financial products and interest in learning about financial matters. As a result of this increased level of engagement, the Woman of Influence is more likely to feel financially secure (79% agreed versus 62% of all women surveyed) and more likely to feel confident in her ability to spend, save and invest wisely than the average woman (87% agreed versus 69% of all women surveyed).
“The compelling thing about the Woman of Influence is she doesn’t necessarily fit the typical ‘power woman’ profile of someone with a six-figure salary and an MBA,” says Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life. “While some are that, the Woman of Influence can just as easily be a stay-at-home mom who is fully engaged in household finances and committed to actively managing her family’s financial future.”
The 2013 study, conducted with more than 2,000 women ages 25-75 with a minimum household income of $30,000 a year, also found Women of Influence have a much better idea about their financial future, including their prospects for retirement. Forty-seven percent of Women of Influence began saving while in their 20s and they are much more likely to have started saving for retirement than the average respondent—with only 1% of Women of Influence saying they have not begun saving versus 12% of all women surveyed.
“It’s inspiring to see a growing number of women fit this empowered profile and we encourage women to evaluate their own relationship with their finances to determine where they stand and what steps they need to take to become more confident with financial and retirement planning,” added Libbe. “It’s important to remember the Woman of Influence doesn’t have to be career-focused and high-earning, although the study found that many do have more professional success.”
As a result of her financial savvy and empowerment, Women of Influence tend to have more earning power (average of $57k/year versus $48k/year for all women surveyed), a higher incidence of post-graduate education attained (26% have completed a graduate degree versus 20% for all women surveyed) and more success in the workplace (they are 50% more likely to be a business owner and 80% more likely to be at the director or VP level within their company than the average woman).
Increased financial empowerment: CFO of household
Among the significant findings from the 2013 Women, Money & Power Study is the new level of financial empowerment for women across all age ranges and relationship status categories. Fifty-seven percent of women say they have more earning power than ever before, and six in ten say they are the primary breadwinner in their household. More than half (54%) of all women also describe themselves as CFO of their household and 75% say they can’t rely on their husbands to handle the investing.
While the majority of women today are feeling a high level of financial empowerment, the profile for the Woman of Influence is even more empowered. Among Women of Influence:
- 70% say they have more earning power than ever before (versus 57% of all women surveyed);
- 73% say they are the primary bread winner (versus 60% of all women surveyed);
- 72% identified themselves as the household CFO (versus 54% of all women surveyed);
- 43% noted they make more than their spouse/partner (versus 32% of all women surveyed).
More money, more informed and confident
The Woman of Influence is also more informed about financial matters and more confident about retirement. Women of Influence are:
- More likely to believe that becoming more financially knowledgeable has made a real difference in the quality of their life (90% agreed versus 67% of all women surveyed);
- Less likely to feel that poor management of their finances created real problems for them (23% agreed versus 30% of all women surveyed);
- More confident about seeking financial information (46% said they have “no problem knowing what to ask or where to go,” versus 35% of all women surveyed).
Financially active and getting help
One reason why Women of Influence may have more confidence is due to a higher level of involvement with financial professionals. More than half of Women of Influence (52%) say they work with financial professionals (versus 38% of all women surveyed), and are more likely to view their professional as a “go to” source for information on how to save, spend and invest (45% agreed versus 31% of all women surveyed).
This increased engagement with a financial professional has been beneficial for the Woman of Influence across a variety of topics. Due to their relationship with a financial professional, Women of Influence are:
- More likely to feel confident and prepared for their financial future (86% agreed versus 77% of all women surveyed);
- More likely to feel they earn a better return on their money (83% agreed versus 75% of all women surveyed);
- More likely to say they understand financial terminology and issues better (80% agreed versus 65% of all women surveyed);
- More likely to be active in financial planning (85% agreed versus 68% of all women surveyed).
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013, has been keeping its promises since 1896. Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with 142,000 employees worldwide. More than 78 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to help them make the most of financial opportunities.
*The 2013 Allianz Life Women, Money & Power Study was conducted by Larson Research + Strategy in December 2012 with more than 2,000 women, ages 25-75, with household income of $30,000/year or higher. The results presented represent the percentage of the women who responded to each respective question or set of questions.