As wealth increases, women need more financial knowledge

In spite of the fact they are controlling more wealth and playing a greater role in their personal and family’s finances, Canadian women still have a lower level of financial literacy and confidence than men.

Recent statistics from a study on women and wealth for IPC Private Wealth says that women in Canada will control close to half of all accumulated financial wealth in the country by 2026, up from about one third of all wealth only a decade ago. Over the course of this decade women in Canada ae expected to report total annual income of some $500 billion and will inherit some $900 billion in financial and real estate assets.

Not only are women in Canada managing significant wealth and cash flow, but at some point in their lives 90 per cent of all women will be required to play the role of sole financial decision maker of either their or their family’s finances.

In spite of these facts, women do not feel confident in their knowledge of finances. A Statistics Canada report in 2016 found that only 31 per cent of women felt they were financially knowledgeable compared to 43 per cent of men.

Research suggests women place a greater level of importance on financial affairs than men. While their financial needs and objectives, attitudes toward risk and willingness to plan and take professional advice all are different from men, women, particularly those over 65, display a lower level of financial literacy than men, and prior to a change in their circumstances such as the death of a spouse or partner or divorce, they are less likely than men to have an individualized financial plan.

As well, in general women have less money in retirement savings than men. Even though women tend to live longer than men, retirement and estate planning both are processes that generally are undertaken by husbands and male partners.

“One of the causes of this lack of preparedness among Canadian women may be a lower level of financial literacy, not only about various products and services but also about straightforward financial concepts such as inflation, diversification, registered- versus non-registered accounts, compound interest and annuities,” the IPC report says. “Whether single through death or divorce, many women are and will be faced with the need to re-think their financial priorities and develop plans and strategies that will provide financial security both for themselves and their dependents.”

Behind this lower level of financial literacy is the fact that there is only a passing effort in many families to educate women about investments and financial budgeting. A 2014 survey by U.S. bank Wells Fargo found that more than two thirds of female respondents said nobody had ever educated them about investing in the stock market.

As women become more financially literate and confident, they also have a responsibility to get their children involved in learning about finances, preferably as soon as they can.

“A good level of financial literacy can really contribute to the family’s happiness and good stewardship of money,” says Kathleen Peace, senior financial consultant with Woodgate Financial of IPC Securities Corp. “If parents don’t want to raise spoiled brats they will want their children to be coached and educated about financial matters so they will grow up to be responsible adults who can handle financial affairs.”

Besides financial issues such as running out of money, women have other non-financial concerns, primarily concerns about their health and facing the deterioration of their mental capacity.

Peace encourages parents to get their children involved in all aspects of financial and estate planning. “Bring them into the meetings so they understand what your wishes are in passing,” Peace says. “Lead by example and make sure the entire family is clear on what your values, concerns and wishes are.”

The overall message is that opportunity exists to improve women’s level of financial knowledge and confidence as they grow in wealth and financial responsibility.

Talbot Boggs is a Toronto-based business communications professional who has worked with national news organizations, magazines and corporations in the finance, retail, manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month