David Lerner Associates: Beyond Politics - Women and Financial Literacy
With the Presidential election behind us, the political rhetoric neared a fever pitch, but there is one topic some people say hasn’t received a lot of attention from either party during the political season -- the “gender gap” between men and women when it comes to financial literacy.
Over the past couple of years, however, the White House has taken steps that some people believe may help improve financial literacy among women in the U.S. One of these is the establishment of a Council on Women and Girls that is focused on increasing economic opportunity and security for women.
The Council has published a report titled Women in America, which found that women are particularly vulnerable to financial insecurity. According to the White House website, although working women account for a larger share of family earnings, pay disparities between men and women persist. Even after accounting for factors such as education or time spent away from the labor force, women still earn less than men, the website notes.
In fact, women in the U.S. earn an average of 77 percent of men’s salaries, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, resulting in an annual salary difference of more than $11,000. These disparities can add up over time. For example, women may receive smaller Social Security payments when they retire and might be able to contribute less money to retirement savings plans like 401(k)s or IRAs during their working lives.
And since women live an average of five years longer than men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they may actually need to save more money for retirement than men do. Also consider the fact that, according to recent surveys, two out of every three women say that they feel they have little knowledge of financial products and services. As a result, they may not be able to plan as well for their future retirement, and may also be more likely to fall victim to abusive financial practices.
According to the White House website, these are among the factors that prompted passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In particular, this Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which the White House says has made promoting financial literacy and accessibility one of its top priorities.
In addition, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability was created by Executive Order in 2010. According to the White House website, this Council is tasked with advising the President and the Treasury Secretary on methods to strengthen and enhance coordination between existing public and private-sector financial education programs and on methods to identify effective financial capability approaches.
Increasing their financial literacy, and thus their financial empowerment, is one of the keys to women achieving financial independence in the United States today.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates,Inc. (DLA). This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considering in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Member FINRA & SIPC.
Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates 1 877 367 5960 http://www.davidlerner.com
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