As women's economic, political and social power increase, they're also taking a more active role in their finances. According to the recent Ameriprise Financial Women and Financial Power SM study, women of all generations are involved in financial decision-making – either shared or on their own – in their households.
In fact, among the Boomer, Gen X and Millennial women surveyed, only 4 percent said they weren't involved in financial matters. More than half (56%) share in making financial decisions with a spouse or partner. Another 41 percent are the sole financial decision-makers in their households.
Of the women who are the sole decision-makers, 63 percent are either unmarried or divorced. And nearly half (42%) of the 37 percent of married women said they are in the role of primary financial decision-maker because they view themselves as the most financially savvy individual in their household.
Trends show more Millennial women are financial decision-makers
A closer look at the numbers also reveals a trend for younger generations to take greater control of household finances. Thirty-eight percent of Millennials – compared with 22 percent of Gen Xers and 11 percent of Boomers – said they are the primary financial decision-makers.
With that in mind, it's not surprising that many Millennial women said they feel educated and knowledgeable about finances. Many (62%) also said that one or both of their parents spent time teaching them about finances and financial decision making while growing up – compared to only 43 percent of boomers.
This experience seems to have made mothers under age 34 even more likely to pass on financial knowledge to their children. A large portion (85%) of Millennial women with children over the age of five believe they have done at least a good job of teaching their children about money. In fact, 33 percent rate themselves as “excellent” at this – many more than any other generation studied. So, it appears that Millennial women are paving the way for the next generation to be even more financially savvy and confident.
Planning for your financial future makes a difference
Another interesting finding the survey revealed was that women who have a written financial plan feel the most financially confident and in control. They are also more likely to feel at peace with their financial choices. What's more, women's financial engagement and attitudes tend to improve with age. For example, 76 percent of boomer women said they have a long-term financial plan they feel comfortable with, compared to just over half (55%) of younger women.
This increased comfort also extends to the non-financial aspects of their lives. Boomer-aged women are more likely to rate all the life values - such as financial security, family harmony and health – as more important than other generations. Women ages 55 to 70 are also more likely to say they are satisfied that they've achieved the things that are important to them (80% versus 66% of women under age 55).
As the national conversations about finances and retirement readiness continue, it's important that women – and men – know how to successfully save and manage their money. If you'd like to learn more about financial planning or about creating a holistic financial plan, consult a financial advisor. An advisor can help you assess your financial situation and goals, and create a strategy to help reach them.