Who says money can’t buy happiness?
A new CIBC study finds that 6 out of 10 Canadian women say financial security contributes to their happiness. In fact, many women wish they had started saving at a younger age.
Almost 75% of the women surveyed said they wish they had started saving earlier, while two-thirds of them say they would have also liked to get involved in investing when they were younger.
Not only is money a contributor to happiness, the majority of women are also concerned about their financial well-being. 62% of women say they are worried about money, with younger women being the most concerned. Almost three-quarters of women between 18 and 34 say they are anxious when it comes to finances. That number drops slightly to 70% for women between the ages of 35 and 54, and less than half of women over 55 seem to be overly bothered. A main reason cited for money woes is the fear of running out of money in retirement. Almost half of women are scared they won’t have enough savings for an emergency, while one in four women are stressed about just managing their day-to-day finances and paying off their debt.
One of the biggest fears that most women (86%) face when it comes to money is the fact that they don’t want to be a financial burden to their loved ones in their later years.
"With retirement income a concern for many women, it's imperative to increase knowledge about personal finances, different investing strategies and how to maximize returns for the long-term," said Kathleen Woodard, senior vice president for personal and small business banking at CIBC.
When compared to men, Canadian women are also less confident in their ability to save and invest, by about half. Women set an average savings goal of almost $25,000 while male counterparts set their goal to almost double that, close to $48,000. That’s according to a 2018 study by financial app Mylo.
The CIBC survey found that most women are lacking confidence in their understanding of what they want to do with their money. Just 10% feel knowledgeable about investing and a whopping 85% don’t believe they have a grasp on retirement planning. Despite feeling less than prepared, women still take charge when it comes to taking care of family finances. Close to 60% of respondents are responsible for paying household bills, and over half of women take the responsibility of budgeting for the home. That number drops a bit when it comes to long-term savings goals like retirement planning and investing money, but it’s still pretty even at 41% and 39% respectively.
In general, women are known to be more conservative when it comes to their investment approach. For those who have investment portfolios, 44% say they are more concerned with preserving capital and making predictable returns, as opposed to a high-risk, high-return option.
If given the chance to go back in time and share some advice with their younger self, Canadian women would have said to “start saving earlier,” “start investing as soon as possible,” and “start planning for retirement earlier.”
"Women's financial health and happiness is closely linked, and with International Women's Day around the corner, now is a good time to look at ways to help them bridge the gap between money concerns and life goals," said Woodard.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, CIBC is hosting free client events across the country focused on providing women with advice to help increase their confidence and knowledge of financial planning. International Women’s Day is Sunday March 8, 2020.
The online survey was completed by over 3000 randomly selected Canadian adults during a three-day period in February.