Bank of America Study Finds 94% of Women Believe They’ll be Personally Responsible for Their Finances at Some Point in Their Lives
Bank of America today announced findings from a new body of research on women and financial wellness, which finds that 94% of women believe they will be personally responsible for their finances at some point in their adult life. Despite this, about half of women (48%) feel confident about their finances and only 28% feel empowered to take action.
The study, which has been published in a new report titled Women, Money, Confidence: A Lifelong Relationship, gauged how women rate their financial health, with a majority of women reporting they are doing well managing their day-to-day finances, like paying their bills every month (70%) and following a budget (53%), however they are struggling with longer term actions like paying down debt (44%), saving for emergencies (44%), saving for retirement (36%) and building wealth (27%). One-in-five women (21%) acknowledge that it is time to make a change to their finances.
“True financial freedom requires both short-term and long-term planning, and the confidence to take action,” said Lorna Sabbia, Head of Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America. “It is imperative that we give women the tools and resources to take charge of their financial futures, and to close the gaps between confidence, empowerment and action.”
This new study continues Bank of America and Merrill’s extensive research efforts exploring women’s unique life journeys and how various factors impact their financial well-being. The report is based on a nationwide survey of more than 3,500 women and 1,200 men; and examines the progress women are making on their financial journeys and where they might need additional guidance and support.
Women are confident managing everyday financial tasks such as paying bills (92%) and managing a budget (87%), yet only half are confident managing investments (53%) and creating a diversified portfolio (44%).
While women and men have nearly equal influence on day-to-day financial decisions, such as paying bills (68% of women vs. 67% of men) and determining the household budget (63% vs. 63%), less than half of women feel they have influence when it comes to decisions on investments (46% vs. 64%). The top obstacles women say are holding them back from investing include not having savings to invest (38%), lack of knowledge (32%) and believing investing is too risky (22%).
When asked about their financial regrets, nearly half of women (44%) pointed to not saving and investing sooner. Women also say they would have invested more of their money (26%), educated themselves more around money (23%), not taken on as much credit card debt (21%), chosen a career with higher pay (19%), lived within their means (18%) and taken better care of their health (14%).
“At Bank of America, we’re committed to helping all women navigate the nuances of their financial journeys by providing the foundational education, professional advice and resources needed to build their confidence and take action to achieve financial security,” said Sabbia.
Bank of America’s Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions organization serves more than 25,000 companies of all sizes and more than 5.8 million employees as of December 31, 20211. Bank of America offers institutional client employees a range of financial benefit programs to help them pursue their financial future, including our Financial Life Benefits® program. Financial Life Benefits offers a suite of workplace benefits and solutions designed to help meet the near- and long-term financial needs of employees. This complete offering brings together traditional financial benefits – including retirement plans 2, health savings 2, equity compensation 2 and non-qualified deferred compensation plans2 – with a range of banking and lending capabilities from Bank of America and investing capabilities from Merrill to help address employees’ financial needs more comprehensively.
Ipsos conducted a 21-minute online survey among a representative sample of more than 3,500 women and more than 1,200 men age 22+ in February 2022. Quotas were enforced to ensure results were representative within gender by age, race, income and assets, marital status, employment status, and education. Survey content was developed by Ipsos in consultation with the Bank of America team.
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,100 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 54 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
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Don Vecchiarello, Bank of America
1 Source: Global Wealth and Investment Management Finance.
2 Investment products are available from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.