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  1. Women Value and Are Seeking Your Advice

    I often want to eyeball roll when I hear the “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” line, but the truth is that as much as we have in common, when it comes to finances and retirement, men and women come at it from different angles and rely on their “advisors” (whether professional or just "friends with opinions") for different kinds of feedback. I found the recent Empowerment Survey, conducted by Midland National to have some interesting findings that can help inform how you reach out to your clients and prospects. This first stat feels staggering: 90% of all women will be solely responsible for their household’s financial well-being at some point in their life, yet they aren’t confident in planning. Overall, women rate their knowledge significantly lower than men (3.30 vs. 3.58 on a six-point scale). Women tend to seek advice more often, from a range of people such as their partner (28% of women vs. 17% of men), their employer (56% of women vs. 44% of men) or friends and family (34% of women vs. 26% of men). It appears they are looking for a trusted advisor—could that be you? Perhaps, if you address their concerns, including the fact that women are most concerned about saving for mortgage/rent expenses and emergencies, and more than men are, according to the survey. And the good news: Women place more value on advisor expertise and communication than men do. On a 10-point scale: expertise is 9.1 for women vs. 8.7 for men, and communication is 8.3 for women vs. 7.7 for men. In addition, women have more concerns about outliving their money and need more reassurance for “what-if” scenarios. This includes education on what’s available to them. So, in a world that seems increasingly DIY, agents and advisors can play a strong advisory role to women and help them get the risk-based products they need along with the retirement planning help they’re asking for.