Women lag men in financial fitness

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Your females clients may need more advice when it comes to financial fitness with only one in 10 women having a financial plan, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by Map My Plan, found that only 37 percent of working women surveyed were considered financially fit compared with 45 percent of men. Also, 32 percent of women were tagged financially unfit as opposed to only a quarter of Australian men.
Another survey finding highlighting the gender gap in financial wellbeing is the average monthly savings rate. The report showed that women saved only $862 each month, nearly 20 percent lower than the $1,061 savings of men.

Australian women got an overall financial fitness score of 110.4 out of 200 while men obtained a 117.5 mark. Map My Plan founder and CEO Paul Feeney noted that the huge gender divide poses a serious problem.
"Nearly 40 percent of women say they can't afford to do the things they want to do, compared with only 30 percent of men, and two thirds say they could not afford to leave their job, compared with only half of men,” he said.
Feeney explained that low levels of financial fitness were associated with reduced work productivity and harmful health effects. The report found that 36 percent of women cited their personal financial situation as a major cause of stress compared with 31 percent of men.
“Women spend almost 40 percent more time thinking about financial issues during working hours than men,” Feeney said.
Feeney stressed that having a financial plan is the best predictor of financial fitness. However, he lamented that only 16 percent of working Australians have a comprehensive financial plan.
“The research showed that those with a financial plan were more likely to be in control of their finances, worry less and be more productive at work," he added.
The report found that only 10 percent of women have a financial plan while 17 percent of men do. About 39 percent of females have no financial plan at all, much lower for men at 29 percent.
When asked why they did not consult a financial planner, survey respondents said the process is too expensive and that financial planners were not independent and were only focused on pushing their products.