Why Mothers Need to Put Themselves Financially First – New Study

I love mom
Moms are famous for putting other people first, especially their families.  But when it comes to finances, moms need to put themselves and their retirement first.   It's actually one of the most loving things they can do for their family.

Here's why.  Women don't want to be a burden on their families, financial or otherwise. 

Women care deeply about NOT having to be dependent on others, and this includes moms.  The problem is, mothers face additional challenges when it comes to saving for retirement.

Retirement Revealed Study

A recent ING U.S. study Retirement Revealed found that mothers face additional hurdles when it comes to building their retirement security.  While the income gap between men and women has narrowed in recent years, mothers tend to spend more time out of the workforce due to caregiver responsibilities.  This reality reduces their earning and savings potential and also lowers Social Security benefits.  ING U.S.’s study found that:

  • The majority (60%) of mothers do not feel prepared for retirement and almost half (46%) don’t know how to achieve their retirement goals. 
  • Just over half (53%) of mothers have less than $25,000 saved in their employer-sponsored retirement plan. 
  • Less than two-thirds (65%) of mothers are receiving their employer’s full company match compared to more than three-quarters (76%) of fathers.
  • Only two-in-ten (20%) of respondents have a formal investment plan to meet their retirement goals.

So what can financial institutions do to better serve their female clients in general, and moms in particular?

Reaching out to women

I spoke with Delia deLisser, Director of Women's Marketing at ING Financial Services about how they're reaching out to women and moms in particular to help with their retirement planning.

ING is taking a two-pronged approach. 

  1. ING is reaching out to women consumers.  They are focusing on educating and engaging women in financial planning.  They've created specific tools and seminars on retirement planning based on how women prefer to learn about finances.
  2. ING is working with and training their financial advisors to better understand and meet the needs of their women clients.

Delia deLisser shared ING's approach with me:

The secret to getting more women engaged in planning and saving for retirement is education and outreach.  The financial services industry can play a critical role by improving its communications with women and tapping the power of women’s networks to raise awareness of this issue.  ING provides training and seminars to its national network of financial advisors to help them educate and support women to be more proactive in planning for retirement.

Meet moms where they're at

Moms are the busiest people on the planet.  Seriously.  While most would love to be more financially educated and have a plan in place, there are so many other priorities vying for their attention.  So here are my suggestions to engage moms in the financial planning process and address their needs:

  • Address their concern about NOT being dependent, and about not being a burden on their family (financially or otherwise.)
  • Educate them the way they want to learn: Seminars with their peers where they can learn in a non-judgmental environment, education one-on-one with their advisors, online education (webinars, videos, articles about what they care about) so they can learn on their own schedules.
  • Simple action steps to get started. 

ING recommends women get started with three simple actions: 

  1. Set a monthly budget and save a set amount every month, just like paying a bill
  2. If you have an employer plan, maximize your contribution to take advantage of the full employer matching benefit
  3. Set up an IRA or Roth IRA plan

To all the moms out there – if you love your family, the best thing you can do for them is to put yourself financially first.  

Happy Mother's Day to you all.

Read more about ING's women and retirement study.

Financial professionals, learn more about how to attract, retain and connect with your female clients in my new book Selling Financial Services to Women.


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28 Responses to Why Mothers Need to Put Themselves Financially First – New Study

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