While many academic and industry studies have indicated a financial confidence disparity between men and women, our barometer shows that a financial adviser helps to close this gap. A 67% majority of non-advised males said they were confident that they would be able to achieve their retirement plans, compared to only 56% of non-advised females – a gap of 11pp. Advised men and women, however, were both more confident, at 69% and 68% respectively, separated by a mere one percentage point, suggesting that advice helps to close the gender retirement confidence gap.
Similarly, 70% of non-advised men are confident they know how much money they need to retire compared to only 52% of non-advised women, a difference of 18pp. Advised clients, however, showed only a 3pp difference, with 72% of men and 69% of women being confident that they know how much money they need to retire. More evidence that advice helps to bring women up to equal levels as men.
In all surveyed circumstances, non-advised women report they would be more open to seeking advice than nonadvised men. They are more likely to seek advice due to a significant life event (64% women versus 55% men), ahead of retirement (59% versus 54%) and due to the higher cost of living (37% versus 21%). Non-advised females (52%) were also notably less confident than men (65%) that they can meet their goals without the help of a financial adviser.
The gender confidence gap is also notable at the point of deciding on a retirement income route. 11% of advised and 24% of non-advised men were unsure of whether to take their pension income through drawdown, annuity, or a blended approach. This compares to significantly higher levels for women – 23% of advised women and a very high 41% of non-advised women. While women are undeniably at a disadvantage to men in their ability to plan and execute their retirement strategy, our findings suggest having an adviser to help guide the journey goes a long way to closing the gap.