Majority of Women Say They Are Now “Primary Breadwinner”

A majority of women now classify themselves as the primary breadwinner in the household, according to a new Prudential study.

53% of the women surveyed said they were the primary breadwinners in the household, either because they were single, or they earned more than their spouse. About one-third of women surveyed said they became the higher earner as a result of the economic downturn, when their partner lost a job.

According to the study, women “are more likely to be single than a generation ago, either as a result of being widowed or the decision to remain single, marry later or divorce. This is increasingly the case for women in their 50s or later.”

But here’s the problem.

Only 20% of these women said they “feel confident in making financial decisions.” (That’s about half  the figure for men). The study revealed that only one in 10 female breadwinners feels “very knowledgeable” about financial products and services.

Women increasingly say they lack confidence in achieving one of their most important goals – maintaining their lifestyle in retirement – and many report that “they are way behind or haven’t started planning for retirement.”

What’s one important factor that can help give women more confidence in their own financial future?

Women working with financial advisors report more confidence, save more money, and feel they are more likely to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. Women value the information and guidance they receive from their advisor, even when they like making their own decisions.

Where do women receive their financial information? Not surprisingly, women of all ages rely on friends and family, the internet, advisors, and news articles to gather information to make their financial decisions.

To read more, see the Prudential 2012-2013 study on Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women.



About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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