Are Millennial Women More Financially Independent?

It’s no secret that millennials seem to be more outspoken about gender equality and equal pay than any generation collectively before them. You’d think this passion would translate to their personal finances, right?


Well, it turns out that even this group of zealous, high-achieving women still do not participate equally with their husbands in long-term financial decision making. 



According to a June 2020 survey from UBS, a global investment bank, a greater percentage of millennial women prefer their husbands to control the finances for themselves and their families than baby boomer women do!


The study surveyed 1,300+ women with at least $250K in investable assets and found that 54% of millennial women with male partners said they deferred to their partners for long-term financial planning rather than sharing that responsibility equally or taking the lead themselvescompared to 39% of boomer women.


Why aren’t more millennial women financially independent?


  1. A lack of financial confidence – According to the results of the study, the primary reason millennial women are deferring equal responsibility is because they believe their husbands know more about the subject matter. Finance has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, so it’s very common for women to assume their husbands are better equipped to make wise decisions on their family’s behalf. 
  2. Not enough time in the day – As they juggle full-time careers and carry out traditional gender roles of organizing the family calendar, taking care of the kids, running errands, cooking and cleaning, etc., these high-achieving women simply do not have enough time in the day to acquaint themselves with all things finance. It seems much easier for them to blindly hand over financial planning matters to their husbands in the present moment, but we know very well that this can lead to significant consequences down the road. 
  3. Repercussions of COVID-19 – Unfortunately, it seems the ongoing pandemic has largely reinforced traditional gender stereotypes. During the lockdowns and quarantine, most couples divided their household duties with women assuming homeschooling and childcare responsibilities, while most men took the lead on duties like yard work and managing finances. Not to mention, the National Women’s Law Center found that 80% of the 1 million+ people who left the workforce in late summer/early fall of 2020 were women. 
  4. Equality beyond equal pay – For years, the center point of the gender equality movement has been the subject of equal pay. However, it is a huge mistake for the conversation to end there! Just because you make as much as your husband or even more so, it means nothing if you are clueless about your savings/retirement plan, investments, and various accounts. While we should continue to push for equal pay, it’s financial confidence and competence that will truly pave the way for financial equality between men and women in the long run. 
  5. Different generational struggles – Last but not least, millennial women are less likely to see financial independence as essential compared to boomer women because boomer women have actually seen the consequences of sole dependence firsthand. Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, many women in this age group witnessed their mothers being denied loans and credit cards based on their gender and marital status. Of course, when their husbands would pass away unexpectedly, file for divorce, or otherwise leave the family high and dry, these women were left without any clue as to how much money they had or how they would provide for their families.


Of course, all of this translates into estate planning matters as well. You should know how your assets are titled, where your investments are, how much money you have saved for the future, how your assets will be divided and passed down through generations, who would care for you should you become incapacitated, who would receive guardianship of your children if you and your husband were to pass away, etc. if you want to ensure that you will be protected in the future.


If you are unsure about any of these matters, our team of estate planners is here to help you every step of the way. We are passionate about educating women throughout the estate planning process to ensure their wishes are taken into account.


Estate Planning with Lefkoff-Duncan


If you’re ready to take the driver’s seat to your future, Lefkoff-Duncan is here to help. Our experienced team will assist you in all of your estate planning endeavors so that you’ll never again need to wonder if you’ve done enough to take care of the ones you love. Contact us today to get started.