Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are Women STUPID?

I came of professional age in the early '70's. I have always proudly identified myself as a feminist. I have worked and supported myself and my family for the past 38 years.

So, no, I don't generally think of women as stupid.

That is, until I read an article like this one. Where on earth did Wells Fargo find these women?

Even my eighth grade algebra (in which class I got a D+--that plus being for perfect attendance!) tells me that one cannot withdraw 11% a year from one's retirement accounts and expect it to last any time at all.

I'm a little more forgiving of women who think $200,000 in retirement savings is the minimum needed for a comfortable standard of living, though I fall squarely in the men's camp because my minimum goal has always been $400,000. (I'm a little over half way there, but I've also got another 8 years to accumulate funds.)

What IS encouraging is that women are more likely to ask for help. (What is it about that Y chromosone that makes men think they don't need to ask for assistance with anything, including driving directions?)

What I wonder is if we're going to take the advice when we get it.

My hope is that women are simply uneducated financially, NOT that they are less bright than men.

But honestly?

Who, in their right mind, thinks they can reduce their assets by 11% (never mind the 30% that a few posited!) a year?

6 comments: said...

This is not an issue of being stupid -- any normal person has the mental capacity to learn the fundamentals of personal financial management -- it is more a function of priorities and a failure by the educational system to educate in that regard.

So it's not just women who are not saving enough or can't answer basic questions about reirement economics -- as many men fail at this, as well!

I was pretty typical when it came to managing my money and planning for the future until I hot rock bottom at 32 -- unemployed, $50,000in debt, and zero savings,

I decided to get smart and I did so. For some of us, that is what it takes but even that won't be enough to shake them out of their financial doldrums!

Amazing, ain't it?

Barb said...

I agree-I've seen no evidence that there isnt just as many men at the same problem. and as a retiree who now has virtuatlly no savings, there are all kinds of issiues involved other than stupidity

Grace. said...

Barb--I didn't mean to imply that women were stupid for not saving. There are so many possible reasons for that including being out of the job market to rear children. (I would have loved to do that, but my little darlings insisted on eating and I forgot to get a working partner before I adopted!) I was more concerned with any woman thinking she could withdraw 11% to 30% of her retirement savings each year.

Anonymous said...

My mom depended so much on my dad to handle her finances and their retirment. Well now dad has passed away and even before that mom and dad were forced to sell there home and move in with me.

My parents didn't do allot of planning for there retirement, I think they just thought they would make it fine.

I on the other hand and have always had a 401k and my husband has a 403b. We have recently started a roth(yeah a little late) and we have always purchased bonds. I have always purchased government bonds, and have never cashed them in. Maybe not the smartest way of savings but I have a nice chunk that I could put my hands on in a emergency.

Now I just need to pay off my debts and amp up my savings...I will not go into retirement eating dog food(lol)


Deb said...

My goal is $800k minimum. I am 49 and 20% of my income goes to retirement. I will have to work until age 69 to reach my goal, and I don't mind a bit. The $800k does not include the income from my rental, which will be mortgage free long before then. If my savings fall short for whatever reason, I'm hoping the rental will help bring me up to that $800k.

I know a frightening number of people my age who haven't saved for retirement at all. I don't know how they sleep at night!

@TMG, I didn't start saving until I was 32, and was then interrupted for 2 years due to a duplicitious ex-spouse and his hidden debts (which of course, became my responsibility as well).

Better late than never, my friend! We'll have to work harder at it, but we can do it!

Kay Lynn said...

They didn't post how many men thought they could withdraw 11% or more of their savings each month and make it last so maybe both sexes are stupid?

It's a good article to bring awareness to financial education and how it can be tailored based on gender, age, etc.