While men still dominate Americans’ conversations about household finances, women are starting to play a more equal role, according to a new survey.
Household finances are increasingly managed by couples, specifically husbands and wives in tandem, according to a recent survey of advisors by Cleveland-based Key Private Bank.
“Women earn more degrees than men and 57 percent of women participate in today's work force,” said Terry Jenkins, president of Key Private Bank, in a statement. “That progress is now translating to household financial decisions. Men continue to be the primary drivers in many family wealth households, but women have an increasing appetite to take the reins, particularly regarding topics they value most."
Fifty-two percent of Key Private Bank’s wealth advisors say they have witnessed more women collaborating with men in household finances over the past three to five years, according to the study.
However, there’s still progress to be made. Men overwhelmingly lead household financial conversations related to tax issues such as minimizing estate tax and reducing family income tax, according to more than 90 percent of the advisors surveyed. Most respondents, 69 percent, said men still take the lead in providing for the family, and 64 percent said men also lead discussions about leaving a family legacy.
One-in-three of the advisors say that they believe women have become more proactively engaged when it comes to household finances. Just 15 percent believe that women will play a more active role in financial conversations, and 10 percent believe that women will become the primary leader of financial and investment decisions.
Most advisors, 74 percent, said they see women taking the lead in conversations pertaining to educating future generations and charitable giving, while 64 percent said women are in charge of conversations about death and disability.
Advisors may not be ready for women to take control of their client households’ finances—one-in-three respondents said financial planning and family conversations became more complex when women are the primary breadwinner.
Sixty-nine percent of advisors expect men and women to take more equal roles in financial conversations in the next three-to-five year, according to the survey.
Key Private Bank, a wealth management subsidiary of KeyCorp, surveyed nearly 300 client-facing advisors about how high-net-worth women are engaging their families in financial conversations.