The study found that “it is no wonder that consumer confidence is declining”: women's financial well-being has fallen to its lowest level in five years

The study found that “it is no wonder that consumer confidence is declining”: women’s financial well-being has fallen to its lowest level in five years

Written by Leslie Albrecht

Only 14% of women said they were ready to slack, compared to 30% of men, according to a new survey.

Women’s financial health has taken a hit during the pandemic, and despite a brief recovery, it is in decline again, leaving many women unprepared for a possible recession.

This is according to a new measure of women’s financial well-being from Ellevest, an investment platform aimed at women.

The Ellevest Women’s Financial Health Index found that women’s financial health has fallen to its lowest level in five years and below pre-pandemic levels.

Women left their jobs in record numbers at the height of the pandemic, either because they were more likely to work in jobs that were laid off or because they had to take on childcare or other household duties as day care centers and schools closed. They have regained some of that lost ground as the labor market recovers and “access to paid family leave begins to expand,” Kate Sullivan, chief data scientist at Ellevest, said in a statement announcing the study’s findings.

But even so, women’s financial health “has taken a further decline as high inflation affects their purchasing power and the Roe v Wade rollover affects their economic future,” Sullivan said. “No wonder consumer confidence is declining, even as women are returning to the job market.”

To measure financial well-being, the study tracked 12 indicators, including some that only indirectly affect how much money a woman has in her bank account or retirement savings. It included jobs, inflation, consumer confidence, the gender pay gap, the student loan debt gap for women and men, the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies and paid family leave.

Read: ‘I had to give up my career, in a sense’: With a potential recession looming, many women are at financial risk

In a separate survey, Ellevest surveyed nearly 2,500 American adults about their feelings of money and spending habits, and found that two-thirds of women said they underestimated spending.

But this survey also showed that many women are still investing in themselves: the study says 75% of women “actively investing for retirement have continued their contributions despite market volatility – compared to just two-thirds of men.” have found.

“The retirement savings crisis is a gender crisis. It’s a women’s crisis,” Ellevest founder Sally Krauchek said at MarketWatch’s Best New Ideas in Money this week. “If we don’t have enough money as a state to retire – 80% of women die single and…we live six to eight years longer than men – we are the ones who tend to suffer.”

Read: Here’s Why More Millennials Are Getting Premarital Programs

The Ellevest survey found that money is the number one stressor factor for women, with 59% of women reporting that they worry about money at least once a week. And while 30% of men said they felt financially prepared for a recession, only 14% of women felt the same.

Ellevest’s research echoes other recent studies suggesting that many women in a financially precarious situation are less likely than men to pay all their bills on time, report that they can manage their debt or have rainy day savings tucked away, according to a survey from Health Network. Non-Profit Finance.

– Leslie Albrecht

 

(end) Dow Jones Newswires

09-23-22 1532ET

Copyright(c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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