4 in 5 Women Are Under Financial Stress: Fidelity

March 5, 2021

What You Need to Know

  • The pandemic has prompted many women to take greater control of their financial future.
  • Women's long-term priorities include bolstering retirement savings and investing outside retirement.
  • The Women Talk Money experience includes 31 days of activities and events in March.

In the year since the onset of the pandemic, women continue to report stress around their finances, job security and long-term savings, according to a report released this week by Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity announced the rollout of Women Talk Money, a virtual pop-up experience that features 31 days of events and activities and two live marquee events in March, all designed to help women take a fresh look at their finances and connect with the guidance. The experience is free and available to everyone. 

Weight of Financial Stress

A Fidelity survey conducted in early February among 2,007 U.S. adults found that 79% of women were experiencing financial stress, up from 67% in October.

Even as they were reporting feelings of financial stress, 71% of women surveyed said they planned to take action with their money in the next six months. Their short-term priorities include paying down debt, creating or reviewing a budget and creating a financial plan.

Longer-term priorities focus on bolstering their retirement savings and starting to invest outside retirement.

“Perhaps one silver lining from the events of the past year is the desire of so many women to take greater control over their financial lives,” Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing at Fidelity Investments, said in a statement. 

“We saw this first-hand as annual retail account openings by women grew by an unprecedented 41%,” Murphy said, basing that figure on Fidelity customer data, representing a year-over-year percentage increase in new retail accounts opened by women in 2020 versus 2019. 

At the same time they intend to proactively address their finances, 58% of female survey participants said they wanted help in doing so, including 77% of millennials whose main focus is investing outside retirement.