Two groups of women at or over age 55 generally maintain higher wellness scores: those who are solely responsible for their finances and those who actively rely on financial advice. This is according to a survey conducted by HomeEquity Bank, the largest provider of reverse mortgages in Canada.
“Conventional wisdom tells us older women are reluctant to talk about finances because it’s ‘not polite.’ Another persistent cliché is that if you’re a single older woman, you’re financially vulnerable,” said Vivianne Gauci, SVP of customer experience and CMO of HomeEquity Bank, in a statement. “Looking at our own client data, we saw women’s behavior challenging this narrative and this research proves it.”
Among the key findings, 60% of single female respondents report high financial wellness scores. Fifty-one percent of single women seek financial advice, while 63% of senior women recorded higher financial wellness scores compared to 46% of younger women.
The survey also found that 62% of women at or over the age of 75 reported that they could enjoy life due to how they managed their money. Meanwhile, 55% of women also felt they had access to trustworthy and non-judgmental advice compared with 66% of men.
“More than half of our clients are female, but we’re careful to not treat them as a single group. We understand better than most banks that financial wellness at age 55 is not the same at 80,” Gauci said. “What’s consistent is the connection between being engaged in your finances and being more financially secure.”
The survey was conducted with Canadians, however, 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the border with the United States.
Pattie Lovett-Reid, a certified financial planner and chief financial commentator for the bank, added that there is significance to the data considering longstanding demographic trends.
“Regardless of how strong your relationship is with your partner or family nobody cares more about your financial future than you,” Lovett-Reid said. “Given that demographic data clearly shows that women have a longer life expectancy than men, it’s especially important for women to take charge of their financial future.”
The data from HomeEquity Bank aligns with the findings of another study earlier this year from LIMRA. That study found that 40% of women who work with a financial professional say that they feel “very prepared for retirement,” compared with 27% of women who do not.