Women desiring financial help rises significantly

The number of women who say they want to learn more about financial planning, retirement planning and investing has nearly doubled over the last seven years, according to new research.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America discloses this finding in its "2013 Women, Money & Power Study." The research polled 2,000 women ages 25-75 with a minimum household income of $30,000 a year.

The report reveals that 62 percent of women are interested in learning about these topics. This compares with the 35 percent of respondents who said so in Allianz Life's original Women, Money & Power Study published in 2006.

Despite innovations within the financial services industry, 70 percent of all women say they believe financial information is hard to understand, up significantly from the 44 percent who felt that way in the 2006 report.

However, 68 percent of women believe financial planning materials are dull and boring. Additionally, 54 percent say financial material “seems like it’s in a foreign language," and 40 percent say that none of the information is “applicable or useful."

The survey adds that, despite indications that women want to learn and want help translating financial material, 69 percent of women do not see their financial professional as a “go to” source for information about how to save, spend and invest. Only 38 percent of women note they had a financial professional.

Of those who have a financial professional, 38 percent say their financial professional is “not very responsive” or “doesn’t seem all that interested in my personal situation” (40 percent).

According to the report, women feel more empowered about financial planning and are more responsible for financial decisions than ever before. More than 90 percent of women say they believe they need to be significantly more involved in financial planning than in the past. They also report that they are equally responsible for major investment decisions and retirement planning in their household (57 percent).

Although negative perceptions about the financial services industry remain strong, many women do see the value in having a financial professional to help guide them. In the study:

  • 77 percent of women who reported they have a financial professional said they were more confident and prepared for their financial future;
  • 75 pecent of respondents recommend having a financial professional to other women;
  • 75 percent of women feel they earn better returns on their money with a financial professional; and
  • 72 percent of women feel more self-sufficient having a financial professional.

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