Fidelity Investments: More Women in Family CFO Role, But Gap Remains

Fidelity Investments: More Women in Family CFO Role, But Gap RemainsWomen are making progress in engaging more in the household’s finances beyond “simply budgeting,” according to a new study by Fidelity Investments.
The number of women claiming primary responsibility for day-to-day financial decisions jumped to 24 percent in this year’s Fidelity survey (up from 15 percent in 2011).
Those claiming primary status for long-term retirement decisions more than doubled to 19 percent from 9 percent in 2011.
However, the findings also found that many women are still less confident when it comes to investing, and routinely defer to their partners on important financial decisions.
”Women are giving so much of themselves at work, with their families, and in the community, but it’s just as important to take the time and ensure all that hard work is protected financially,” said Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity. “While a lot of progress has been made, it’s critical for women to empower themselves by becoming equal partners managing the family finances and in long-term financial planning conversations.”
Couples overwhelmingly believe they are in agreement about finances, with nine in 10 couples (92 percent) agree they communicate well and eight in 10 (81 percent) describe themselves as “one financial entity.”
But when asked to assess their confidence level in taking full financial responsibility of retirement decisions from a spouse — if necessary — many women are more confident in their partners’ ability than their own.
And the men agree. Fidelity survey found that men are more likely than women to be very confident in their own ability (53 percent vs. 45 percent of women). Women, in turn, are more likely to be confident their “other half” could assume this role (52 percent vs. 43 percent of men).
Want to Know Where You Stand?
For couples that want know how well they communicate about financial matters, Fidelity has developed a new interactive Couples Quiz to take and compare answers, along with a Conversation Starter guide to help navigate the retirement planning process.

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