Despite financial worries, women are relatively well-prepared

With a preference for prudence, Canadian women report a high degree of mastery over their household finances

Despite financial worries, women are relatively well-prepared

When it comes to their financial affairs, women have a lot of reason for concern. But that apparently isn’t stopping them from being relatively well prepared for life’s challenges.

According to a new poll from RBC Insurance, Canadian women over 45 are relatively well prepared. When it comes to household money matters, over nine in 10 (92%) agreed that they have a strong understanding of their finances.

The majority also have a very clear idea of what they would do with a sudden windfall, with 94% agreeing that a prudent approach to make the money last would be best. There was also overwhelming support for strategies to protect the money from risks such as market volatility (92%) and possibly investing it in products that come with guaranteed income (91%).

“Women are expressing a strong interest in long-term financial strategies, risk mitigation and products that can provide guaranteed income," said Selene Soo, director, of Wealth Insurance, RBC Insurance. “There are solutions available that  … can provide guaranteed income for life, potential tax benefits and the ability to protect beneficiaries, to name a few."

Beneficiaries were clearly a top-of-mind priority for the 84% of Canadian women who said they’d like to leave their loved ones an inheritance. When asked if they themselves have ever received such an inheritance, 49% of all female respondents to the survey said yes, while a slightly smaller cohort of 46% said they expected to receive one in the future.

That doesn’t mean women are depending on others to get through their retirement years. Only 17% of the RBC Insurance poll participants said that they’re counting on an inheritance. In addition, single women were only slightly more likely than their married counterparts (36% vs. 34%) to say they lacked confidence in their ability to afford their lifestyle in retirement.

“Women have long been managers of the day-to-day activities and spending in households across the country and we're pleased to see this reflected in their confidence about the household finances,” Soo said. "Yet, there still is some uncertainty around their ability to maintain the same lifestyle into the future.”

The uncertainties cited by the women in the poll include:

  • Inability to maintain their household’s financial situation if their spouse or partner were to pass away (24%)
  • Lack of confidence in their ability to afford the lifestyle they want through retirement (33%)
  • Worries over their ability to properly manage a sudden financial windfall (24%)

Uncertainties about the future appeared to be more pressing for women between 45 and 54 years old. Compared to those aged 65 and older, members of the younger group proved more likely to doubt that they could maintain their household finances if their spouse or partner were to pass (30% vs. 14%), or live their desired lifestyle through retirement (38% vs. 22%). 


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