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Home Blog Empowering Women and Wealth

Empowering Women and Wealth


We all lead busy lives, but women tend to place our family and work needs before our own. We are excellent at managing our daily lives, but many times fail to take the time to consider our future financial needs.   

Statistics show men are more likely to seek out financial advice than women. Combine that with the fact that women often outlive men, and we have a recipe for disaster.

Women control 51% of the personal wealth in the US. Women control $14 trillion in assets. Women make 80% of household buying decisions. 4 out of 10 women earn more than men. Women outlive men by 5-6 years. 80% of women die after their spouse.

As illustrated above: 

  • Women control 51% of the personal wealth in the U.S.
  • Women control $14 trillion in assets
  • Women make 80% of household buying decisions
  • 4 out of 10 women earn more than men
  • Women outlive men by 5-6 years
  • 80% of women die after their spouse

Given the statistics, what do women need to consider? 

With longer life expectancies, women should consider: 

  • Retirement will typically be longer, so income needs to last longer. 
  • Long term care is more likely to occur, and health challenges may be faced alone. 
  • Married women will likely outlive their husbands so it’s important to understand their overall financial picture. 
  • Likelihood of providing care for a spouse or loved one is greater for women. This can impact income and benefits, savings, and social security.

What recommendations do we have for women? 

In the past, it was common for women to take a backseat when it came to their financial future. That is no longer the case. More than ever, we encourage women to get in the driver’s seat when it comes to their financial security. Here are some key things women can do: 

  • Ask questions. We believe in educating our clients and providing access to information, allowing them to make informed decisions about their financial future. Unfortunately, statistics show women are less likely to seek our financial guidance. Break the stereotype and speak up. Expect your Wealth Advisor to explain financial concepts.   
  • Have a strong retirement plan. With a longer life expectancy, you don’t want to come up short in retirement savings. Work with your Wealth Advisor to ensure your plan covers both income needs and potential expenses related to providing care for another and ultimately long term care for yourself.  
  • Advocate for yourself. If you are in the workplace, be confident in negotiating your salary, job assignments, raises and promotions. While the earning gap has decreased over time, don’t be afraid to be your own advocate.   
  • Seek help. Women are often the primary caregivers for their children or loved ones. Don’t be afraid to negotiate flexible work arrangements, seek family or external support to cope with the added stress. 
  • Protect yourself. Understand your vulnerabilities. If you are married but rely only upon one income source, make sure you have adequate life and disability insurance. Likewise, single individuals should consider disability protection. In more sophisticated circumstances, such as divorce or second marriage, be sure to have a plan to protect your assets. 
  • Create an estate plan. Everyone should have and understand their estate plan. Unfortunately, all too often we meet with widows for the first time while trying to help them sort through complex financial situations. For single women, it is equally important to ensure your personal and financial wishes are carried out in the event of death or incapacity. 
  • Develop a relationship with your Wealth Advisor. Don’t wait until you are forced into the driver’s seat because of life circumstances to develop a trusted relationship. We are here to help, and have professionals - women and men - with years of experience and education navigating all the financial issues we’ve discussed here. You don’t need to be an expert, nor do you have to be the primary decision-maker in the household to be involved. However, you should feel confident your Wealth Advisor understands the unique needs and desires you have for your financial future. 

No one individual is the same, and certainly not everyone fits into a set stereotype. However, it is important to understand, or at least consider, if any of the unique challenges faced by women might impact you. If you have questions, we are here to help. Contact us at for more information. 

Products provided by First Citizens Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits of the bank and are not guaranteed by this institution; and, are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested. Please note that neither First Citizens Bank nor the First Citizens Wealth Management Department provide tax or legal advice.


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