Households with men heading them save an average of $35,000, while those run by women save a little under $17,000.
That’s the difference in average savings that consumer spending research company ValuePenguin found in a recent study. And while those averages are jarring on their own, typical savings are even further apart…
- $9,200 for male-headed households
- And $2,500 for female-headed ones.
ValuePenguin says these numbers — also called the median values — are more important than the averages. Why? Because “the average is heavily skewed by high-income outliers with large deposits,” it explains. And the company cites the Federal Reserve’s data, showing that the national typical savings balance is $7,000, which is…
- Less than typical male savings
- But almost three times female household savings.
So what’s behind these stark differences, and what can women do about it? Let’s look at the research.
When men make more…
It’s simple: On average, women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn in similar positions. That’s $10,500 a year less on average.
As Debt.com reported, “It’s even worse for women of color. Black women make 62 percent of what white men do, while Hispanic women make 54 cents for every dollar.”
And that’s not getting better anytime soon. According to female-focused nonprofit research outfit The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “At the current rate, women will not receive equal pay until 2058.”
ValuePenguin’s research bolsters these findings, having found that 79 percent of all households are “headed by men.”
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And owe less…
Of the country’s student loan debt, women owe its stark majority: $890 billion worth.
Men, meanwhile, collectively hold only $490 billion of the total. As Debt.com reported, “Women hold two-thirds of the $1.4 trillion student loan debt, says a study from the American Association of University Women.”
“Student debt levels have reached an all-time high, with women carrying a bigger burden of debt than men,” says the association’s CEO Kim Churches. “This debt is an albatross for many women as they embark on careers and work to support their households and families. And, it only gets worse over time when coupled with the gender pay gap.”
…Men save more
It’s easier to save more than women when many don’t save at all.
Less than half (45 percent) of female households have savings accounts in the first place, ValuePenguin’s study showed.
More than half of men households did, though. And recent research from investment firm PNC further backs up savings inequality. As Debt.com reported…
The difference there? 66 percent.
…Women save less
And it hurts their retirement savings, which most women think won’t be enough for them.
As Debt.com recently reported, “Women expect their income to last them for 20 years once they retire. However, they believe they will live for 25 years after they stop working.”
And if living without income isn’t stressful enough, women actually have a slew of other concerns when it comes to their savings. So says more gender-specific research from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which surveyed more than 6,000 workers about their retirement priorities…
- 53 percent of women are concerned Social Security is depleting or won’t exist in the future.
- 48 percent believe they won’t afford the basic financial needs to take care of their families.
- 47 percent stress about their health declining and needing long-term care.
- And 42 percent worry they won’t have access to adequate and affordable healthcare.
As Debt.com reported, “Fifty-five percent of women fear outliving their retirement savings and investments, compared to 49 percent of men.”
Things are changing
Gender savings research from investment company Fidelity says data from its 8 million customers proves women are actually better at saving and at investing.
It’s just that a confluence of all the inequalities above either keep them from acting on their stronger intuitions or not making enough to skew the data. Fidelity’s numbers showed women were saving nine percent of their salaries on average as opposed to the 8.6 percent of men have saved.
Percentages matter less when the gender gap is so wide, of course.
Improving your personal finance — from reducing debt to increasing savings — is within your reach.
Before paying a financial consultant to help you, check Debt.com’s free resources, like tips on budgeting.
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