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Financial Wellness: For Women, It Isn’t Just About Money

When you hear the words “financial wellness,” things like income, savings, investments and net worth might come to mind, but these things only tell part of the story.

That’s because financial wellness isn’t just about money. It’s also how a person’s financial resources impact the state of their physical, mental and social well-being.

Financial wellness is important for everyone, but women in the United States are especially under pressure. A financial wellness gap between men and women exists due to factors like the pay gap, the gender leadership gap, childbearing, higher health care costs and longer lifespans.

CNBC reports, “Women have a complicated relationship with money,” and “when it comes to money, women’s No. 1 word for their financial feelings was ‘stress.’”

Chronic stress resulting from financial worries can put you at risk for many health problems, including heart disease, digestive problems, depression, anxiety and more, which is why it’s imperative for women to address their financial wellness.

In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s explore four aspects of financial wellness women can focus on to help improve their peace of mind.

1. Financial Literacy

“Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing,” according to Investopedia.

Over the past seven years, the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index has found that financial literacy among women tends to lag that of men. In 2023, 10% of women displayed very high financial literacy, compared to 23% of men.

The good news is that financial literacy is something that can be developed over time. Reading books, listening to podcasts, subscribing to financial content, and learning from a financial professional are all ways women can become more financially literate.

2. Financial Confidence

Once women build financial literacy, they’re more likely to feel confident in their financial decisions. According to Bankrate, less than half of women (48%) are confident about their finances, and only 28% feel empowered to take action.

With more financial confidence, women may be more likely to focus on investing. Historically, women are more focused on building savings than investing. But by moving money into the market, women can make their money work harder for them.

3. Financial Peace

From the burden of debt to the stress of making ends meet, financial stress can take a toll on a person’s mental well-being. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, 46% of people with debt also have a mental health problem. And women are more likely to experience financial stress than men, with 56% of women saying money has a negative effect on their mental health, compared to 47% of men.

In an interview with CNBC, Jean Chatzky, Founder and CEO of HerMoney, shares that for women, financial peace means being able to meet financial obligations today while being able to save for tomorrow, as well as having some degree of confidence that their money can last their lifetime.

4. Financial Relationships

Financial stress doesn’t just make a personal impact. It’ can also put a strain on romantic relationships, friendships and family relationships. In fact, money issues are among the top reasons for divorce.

Improving financial wellness not only helps reduce or eliminate potential sources of conflict, but it can also help strengthen relationships. Because when people are on the same page financially, they can be a team in joint financial planning and work together to achieve their goals.

Want more? Check out our blog, 5 Strategies to Help Women Improve Their Financial Health

We’re Here for You!

Working on your financial wellness may feel intimidating, but you don’t have to go it alone. Bankers Life financial professionals are here to help you be more confident in your ability to meet daily financial obligations, make smart investment decisions and have a personally satisfying retirement.