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Boomer Women More Confident Managing Money, but Millennials Enjoy It More

Jun 17, 2014

Who's more cocky about their financial savvy—Gen Y women or Boomer women? Turns out both are, just in different ways.

A study released today by Ameriprise Financial found that women nearing retirement feel most in control of their finances. Nearly eight in 10 have a clear financial plan they're comfortable with (vs. 55% of younger women), and three quarters feel confident that their careful planning will pan out (vs. 63% of younger women). Six in 10 say they feel a strong sense of control when it comes to saving and investing (though the Millennials are closing in at 58%).

Boomer women’s confidence may be tied to their level of involvement in financial decisions along with their years of experience. Nine in 10 say they are primarily or jointly responsible for long-term saving and investment decisions in their households. And older women are more likely to feel at peace with their past financial decisions. Nine in ten boomer women say they feel confident about the financial decisions they’ve made in the last few years. compared to only 83% of millennials, and 80% of boomers say they are satisfied with what they’ve achieved, while unsurprisingly only 66% of younger women feel the same.

Across all generations, two in five women consider themselves the primary financial decision maker, though a majority of these women (63%) are doing so out of necessity, as they are either unmarried or divorced. Among women who've chosen to take the lead for their household, only 37% are in long-term relationships.

What’s particularly interesting, though, is that millennial women are more likely than older generations to say that they've taken control because they are more knowledgeable than a spouse and because they enjoying making these decisions.

Part of this confidence in their financial know-how could be attributed to early education from their parents, Ameriprise postulates. Six in 10 young women ages 25 to 34 learned about finances from Mom and Dad, while only 43% of Boomer women could say the same.

Millennial women are also more likely to feel that success is defined by making informed financial decisions, and they are also more likely to tweak their financial strategy in reaction to a life milestone or challenge than older women.

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