Women & Money

Understanding the Value of Good Advice

How advisors are helping clients, particularly women,
better visualize their family’s future

Many women take an active or leading role in directing their family’s finances, yet give themselves poor marks in their own knowledge about saving and investing. Whether you are completely in charge of your family’s finances or share the responsibility, financial advice can help you become a more knowledgeable and confident investor.

In fact, women are less likely than men (56 percent vs. 63 percent) to say they feel confident that they have saved enough for retirement, according to the 2014 TIAA-CREF Advice Matters survey. But women who have received financial advice are more likely to close that gap: 63 percent of women who have received financial advice say that they feel confident, compared to 45 percent of women who haven’t. It can be difficult to make time for your finances as you’re juggling a busy schedule: Nearly four in ten women (39 percent) say they lack the time to find financial advice.

What can financial advice do for you?

However, increasing your own financial knowledge can benefit not only you, but your whole family. You will be better able to plan for your own financial goals as well as any family goals such as saving for college. Additionally, if you have children at home, they are likely absorbing money lessons from you every day. Think of financial advice like the oxygen mask on an airplane: Taking care of yourself first can help you help others.

What can financial advice do for you? Financial advice can help you make smart money moves. After receiving advice:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of women surveyed made a change in their spending habits
  • 57 percent increased how much they save every month
  • 53 percent set up a plan for managing debt
  • 51 percent created an emergency fund
  • 44 percent increased the amount they are saving for retirement
  • 39 percent changed the asset allocation in their retirement plan

Financial advice doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming, and can help address your specific challenges, whether you’re in your 30s and juggling multiple demands on your money or in your 60s and wondering if you have enough saved to retire in a few years. In addition to helping you improve your own savings and spending, financial advice can help you develop a holistic picture of your family’s financial needs, which can include college savings, helping older parents and teaching your children about money.

Seeking the financial advice that works for you

You may need advice that fits your schedule or addresses a specific need, and you can find it in a way that works for you. TIAA-CREF’s Woman2Woman website offers women the chance to share financial insights and learn from financial experts, with articles, Q&As, and other resources to help you navigate financial challenges. Many financial providers also have educational material on their websites, including articles, webinars and videos targeted to women’s specific needs.

Keep in mind that the retirement plan offered through your workplace may offer free advice sessions to plan participants, either through the firm that provides the plan or a third-party provider. Such advice can help you ensure you are saving enough for retirement and have your money allocated to the right investments. Don’t have time right now to sit down with a financial advisor? Online financial tools and calculators can help you calculate everything from which mortgage you should choose to whether you are saving enough for retirement.

The important thing to remember is that the right financial advice for you is out there. Finding it can help you feel more confident in navigating your financial future.

The material is for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any product or service to which this information may relate. Certain products and services may not be available to all entities or persons. Past performance does not guarantee future results. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products. © 2014 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017