While many consumers can likely use a bit of financial advice in their everyday lives to make sure they’re spending less and saving more, it seems that women are simply more willing to listen to this type of counsel than men.
Close to 90 percent of women surveyed said they’ve taken action on financial advice they’ve received in their lives, including decisions such as saving more and rejiggering their retirement portfolios, according to a recent survey from TIAA-CREF. This rate is far higher than that observed for men, and in fact, many women also listen to this advice despite having other concerns about their finances.
For instance, slightly less than half of female respondents find that they don’t think that personalized, objective financial advice typically costs money, and that they cannot afford it, while about a third also think they don’t have time to seek it out, the report said. Further, more than half say they are worried about their ability to save for their retirement.
“It’s encouraging that women are willing to take action after they receive financial advice, but the fact that so many women say they don’t know where to look for advice and don’t know whom they can trust shows there’s more work to be done,” said Cathy McCabe, managing director for TIAA-CREF. “It’s critically important we begin to reach women with the information they need in a way that is truly relevant to them.”
The study also found that 74 percent of respondents have increased their contributions to their retirement plans, the report said. That can be important because many are now the primary keep of the finances in their homes, and their having the ability to deal with money confidently both for now and the future will put them on more stable ground overall.
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Some of the biggest financial problems that many consumers – both female and male – have these days relates to their outstanding debt. Therefore the more work they do to clear these balances, such as by making increased payments every month and not using their credit cards unless it’s absolutely necessary, can put them in a better financial position in a relatively short period of time. This, in turn, can also improve their credit score and make them eligible for more affordable financing when they need it in the future.
Image: Kevin Dooley, via Flickr