“Women, Money and Power” is a new study released by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America that says more than half of all women want to learn about retirement planning and try level-saving and investing, although many are not sure where to begin.   Allianz examined two key questions: what women want to learn about finances and how they want to learn it. It found that while the Internet is the most consulted resource, it is the least trusted. Apparently, human contact remains the most meaningful and effective source of information.   The study identified the financial planning topics women want to learn about most. The top five subjects include:   ·        Planning for retirement/maintaining lifestyle in retirement ·        How to start saving or investing on very little income ·        Basics of buying smart (savvy shopping, buying vs. leasing, etc) ·        How to buy/select the right insurance products (life, long-term care) ·        Definition of basic financial terms (IRAs, annuities, mutual funds)   According to Allianz, single women with children were overwhelmingly interested in planning for retirement, with 68 percent saying it was a topic of interest. In addition, 47 percent of that group was interested in how to buy or select the right insurance products, and 49 percent wanted to learn the definitions of basic financial terms. Single women were particularly interested in educating themselves. Forty-five percent of single women with children and 55 percent of single women without children expressed interest in learning about financial planning. Divorced women were also above the group average, at 42 percent.   “This intense interest by women, especially single women with children, demonstrates that all women are thinking about finances for themselves and their families, and are ready to take control, with a little bit of help,” says Sherri DuMond, vice president of Marketing Solutions for Allianz.   Difficulty in understanding financial information is a critical barrier for many women, the Allianz study finds. When asked about their financial planning concerns, women responded:   ·        Information is overwhelming/too much/hard to sort through ·        Information is complicated or hard to understand ·        Materials are really boring and dry ·        Don’t understand terminology/materials seem foreign   Despite their reservations, more than one in three respondents, some 35 percent, said they were very or quite a bit interested in learning about financial planning, retirement planning, and investment decisions.   Tom Burns, senior vice president and chief distribution officer, says, “I’m excited about this opportunity to really take a look at what women need from a financial services company. This study represents a clear opportunity for Allianz and the financial services industry as a whole to break the cycle of women’s hesitance to be involved in financial planning.”  

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