Only one-third of American women feel they are on track or ahead of schedule in planning for retirement.

That’s down from 46% in 2008, according to Prudential’s eighth biennial study of women and money, Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women.

And 75% believe having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement is very important, but only 14% are very confident they will be able to do this. This gap is virtually unchanged from 10 years ago.

However, many women feel more confident about their ability to manage day-to-day household finances, with nearly one-third giving themselves an “A” for their knowledge of managing money (33%) and managing debt (29%).

The study results also show that even though many women don’t feel they have a grasp of investing, they are not seeking the help of financial professionals in great numbers. Only 31% of women use a financial professional, down from 48% in 2008.

In addition, 20% of women say the financial services industry doesn’t understand their needs, and many say the industry needs to use less jargon and maintain a strong code of ethics.

The research showed that most women understand checking and savings accounts and life insurance “very” or “somewhat well,” but only 38% understand mutual funds and 31% understand annuities “very” or “somewhat well.” Across almost all products and planning options, understanding is now lower than it was in previous years.

The study results indicate that age may play a role in whether women seek guidance from a financial professional. Forty-five percent of baby boomers use a financial professional, while 31% of gen Xers and just 15% of millennials do.

“In light of these findings, it’s not surprising women are not self-assured when it comes to achieving their financial and retirement goals,” says Lori Fouché, CEO of Prudential Group Insurance. “Women are unsure of where to start with financial planning and say they are unsure of what they need to consider when evaluating options, but they are not seeking help.”

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Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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