The Financial Finesse study suggested that a high percentage of women don't have that comfort level, particularly in key aspects of financial planning. "The areas where women are furthest behind are arguably the most important," Davidson said.
The two most significant are money management and investment planning. On both fronts, results were marginally better than last year but still indicate a need for major improvement.
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Only 63 percent of the women surveyed in the study said they were spending less money than they were making, meaning they were likely depleting their savings or taking on debt. The figure for men was 78 percent. Just 47 percent of women maintained an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, compared to 62 percent of men. And 49 percent of women regularly paid off their credit card balances in full versus 66 percent of men.
The upshot is that despite the likely need of a bigger nest egg to sustain them in retirement, women are saving less than men.
On the investment front, the study also suggested that women lack confidence with investing and are consequently more conservative than men are. That's not always a bad thing, but ultimately, lower investment returns will translate into less money in retirement. "We're all subject to greed and fear when it comes to investing," Davidson said. "I think women are a little more influenced by fear."