Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
NEW YORK, Dec. 12 -- TIAA-CREF issued the following news release:
Women are significantly more likely than men to take action after receiving financial advice, according to a recent survey from TIAA-CREF. The study also found that nearly 90 percent of women take some type of action after receiving such advice, with activities ranging from saving more to rebalancing retirement portfolios.
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and polled a random sample of more than 1,000 adults nationwide on their attitudes, preferences and behaviors about receiving financial advice.
The findings also highlight the challenges women face - both real and perceived - when seeking financial advice. Nearly half of female respondents think personalized and objective advice comes at a price they don't think they can afford. Furthermore, one in three women say they don't have time to look for advice. These factors prompt many female respondents to turn to family and friends rather than a professional financial advisor when trying to find this information.
"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 survey also revealed that a significant number of women are concerned about their financial futures. More than half of female respondents admit they worry they will not have sufficient savings to retire comfortably.
These findings are not surprising given the demographics at play. Women are living longer than men and often take themselves out of the workforce due to family responsibilities. These factors, plus each woman's personal goals, need to be considered when creating a long-term financial plan.
To give women the tools they need to help them become financially secure and successful, TIAA-CREF created the Woman to Woman Financial Empowerment Series, which includes workshops that are developed by women, for women. Each workshop is interactive, allowing attendees to learn from the financial advisor, as well as the other women in the room.
"We've seen in many of our families women are the bill payers, the managers of the day-to-day household finances; they are trying to make ends meet during these difficult financial times. Too often they don't think about themselves and aren't saving and investing enough to retire," said Rosario I. van Daalen, human resources officer at the University System of Maryland. "The Woman to Woman Financial Empowerment Series provides a powerful reminder to women that they have to save and offers lessons on how to get on the right track."
Seventy-four percent of those who have participated in a TIAA-CREF Woman to Woman workshop have increased contributions to their retirement plans.1 In addition, almost all of the workshop attendees say they are committed to taking action to meet their savings and retirement goals.2
To date, this program has reached thousands of women through the workshops across the country. The following are available to TIAA-CREF clients and their friends and families:
"She's Got It: A Woman's Guide to Saving and Investing," which focuses on the basics of savings and investing from the ground up
"Postcards from the Future: A Woman's Guide to Financially Ever After," which takes a look at retirement readiness
"Start to Finish: The Early Career Woman's Guide to Financial Wisdom," designed to reach those women who are just entering the workforce with basic financial planning information
The Woman to Woman Financial Empowerment Series is just one of many ways TIAA-CREF provides clients with the financial education and advice needed to help make informed decisions. Earlier this year, the company unveiled an expanded portfolio of participant advice and education resources, which includes an updated online resource center for clients, new online retirement planning tools, additional in-person advice services and the enhancement of TIAA-CREF's comprehensive financial education program, known as Financial Essentials.
TIAA-CREF has been offering personalized retirement plan financial advice since 2005 at no additional cost to clients. The company currently offers in-person financial services at more than 65 offices across the country, in addition to phone representatives who are licensed and trained to provide advice. These services provide individuals with a suggested asset class mix and investment recommendations, designed to For more information on the study, read the TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey Executive Summary (PDF).
Additional information can be found on the Woman to Woman Financial Empowerment Series by visiting www.tiaa-cref.org/women.
The survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone among a national random sample of 1,006 adults age 18 years and older nationwide between July 11, 2012 and July 17, 2012. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. improve their chances of successfully reaching their retirement income goals.
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