More women are primary earners, lack confidence
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More than half of women (53 percent) surveyed recently are the primary breadwinners in their households, yet only 20 percent consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.

Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they earn more than their spouse as a direct result of the rocky economy. Among male breadwinners, 45 percent consider themselves “very well prepared” with their financial decision making.

Other key findings:

• Women worry most about household expenses, levels of debt and saving for retirement. Men worry most about the state of the economy, household expenses, and saving for retirement.

• The majority of women see themselves as “savers” (70 percent) rather than “investors,” and most are only interested in guaranteed/FDIC-insured products.

• Younger women are experiencing greater financial challenges. Those under the age of 35 have an unemployment rate of 25 percent, and 22 percent don't own a checking or savings account.

• Women overall are underserved by financial advisors. Two-thirds do not currently work with an advisor. The biggest obstacles are perceived to be cost and lack of funds.

What can you do to increase your financial confidence?

• Seek education about the investment vehicles that can help you reach your goals. 

Contact local ofessional/trade associations, women's groups, community colleges and adult education centers in your area for information on investment or personal finance seminars taking place.

• Work with an investment professional. An advisor is an excellent source of information and guidance to sort through the many choices available.

• Obtain information about the retirement benefits that are available through your employer and actively participate in any plans offered.

• Most importantly, recognize the unique challenges you face and start saving and investing as early as possible to overcome them.

To access the 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study: "Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women," go to www.prudential.com/media/managed/pru_women_study.pdf.

This article was provided by Ken Weise, an LPL Financial Advisor. He can be reached at 707-584-6690. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions of this material are for information purposes only.

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