Wednesday, May 4, 2011

12 Financial Facts About Women

In 1935, Cret designed the Seal of the Board o...Image via WikipediaFed Governor Elizabeth A. Duke recently gave an interesting speech called "Women and Money: Challenging the Myths". She was nominated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve by President George W. Bush on May 15, 2007. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve consists of 7 members with Ben Bernanke as its chairman.

One of Elizabeth A. Duke's many interests is financial education. It seems the myth is that men make most of the financial decisions in our families. But this is wrong, women overall are in the drivers seat for family finances.

Even women are under the impression that leaving it to their spouse or significant other is the norm. Elizabeth A. Duke has been integral to setting up financial education for women and encouraging them to seek it.

The following is a list of facts that indicate that most women will someday need the knowledge coming from financial literacy.

  • Women are quite likely to be solely responsible for financial decision making at some point in their lives. Indeed, as women age, the probability of living alone increases.
  • According to the Social Security Administration, the average life expectancy for women is 81 years, compared to 73 years for men.
  • Census information tells us that the average age of widowhood is 55 years old.
  • The current divorce rate is estimated at between 36 and 50 percent.
  • Statistics indicate that the earlier in life one marries, the higher the probability of divorce.
  • Women are more likely than men to be single parents.
  • Women have lower average wages, lower lifetime earnings, and are less likely to be covered by a pension plan.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that median earnings for all women are $638 a week, compared to $798 for men–approximately 80 percent of what men earn on average.
  • The Department of Labor reported in 2008 that less than half of working women participated in a pension or retirement plan.
  • Women are more likely to work in part-time jobs that don’t offer retirement plans.
  • The typical woman spends 10 years out of the workforce for care giving, while the typical man spends just 2 years out of the workforce,
  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. women ages 40 to 79 have already dealt with a major financial “life crisis,” such as job loss, divorce, the death of a spouse, or serious illness.

These facts indicate the importance of financial education for women. After all, women are central to our national prosperity as workers, taxpayers, voters, consumers, and financial managers. Today, half the labor force is composed of women, compared to 38 percent in 1970. While the overall civilian unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, the unemployment rate for women 20 years and older is 8.0 percent. And nearly one-third of married women workers now out-earn their husbands.

Reader: What do you think?

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