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Prudential Financial Experience & Behaviors among Women 2010-2011

Women are not confident about making financial decisions and do not fully understand (!) increasingly sophisticated financial products.

Overall, 95% indicate that they are involved with household financial decisions and 25% are the primary decision makers, while 84% of married women say they are involved with financial and retirement planning and 15% of those responding report they have sole responsibility.

55% of those reporting believe they will need to work longer than they expected but 75% believe they are on track to meet long-term goals or are well-positioned to catch up.

20% of women feel they are ‘very prepared’ 50% say they ‘need some help’ and 33% say they ‘need a lot of help’; 10% have a financial plan in place.

Trust is an issue, 19% say they are comfortable with a financial professional, 60% say they trust family and friends.

44% of women say providing for college tuition is very important compared to 23% in 2003.

Only 26% of women report they have the confidence to provide that tuition.

5% don’t understand how a savings account works.

16% don’t understand how life insurance works.

19% don’t understand how their employer retirement plan works.

25% don’t understand how an IRA works.

38% don’t understand stocks and bonds.

33% don’t understand estate planning or wills.

53% don’t understand annuities.

36% don’t understand long term care.

50% have not discussed life insurance with a spouse or adviser.

39% have not discussed wills or estate plans with spouse or adviser.

Sources of financial information:

64% family, spouse

62% printed literature

42% Internet

42% Employer plan website

34% Co-workers

30% Seminars, meetings

29% financial adviser

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