Retirement Read Time: 2 min

How women can boost their financial confidence

Women contribute to the economic well-being of their family in important ways. Between 1979 and 2018, women accounted for 91 percent of the total income gain for their families.1 And the amount of work stay-at-home moms put in — from taking care of the household to acting as the primary caregiver for children and aging parents — equates to an average of $184,820 annual salary.2 However, all these financial contributions are too often left unprotected.

The gender gap of protection

Only 47% of US women aged 18-75 own life insurance.3 According to the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), this is 11 points lower than men’s reported life insurance ownership rate, even though women have overtaken men and now account for more than half of the college-educated labor force in the United States.4

And 56 million US women say they need life insurance, or need more life insurance, according to LIMRA’s most recent Women’s Brief. Furthermore, this same brief points out that four in ten women say the death of a primary wage earner would cause financial hardship in six months or less.5 And only 22% of women say they are “very knowledgeable” about life insurance.6 These figures are compelling and are supported by findings from Guardian’s 2021 Financial and Emotional Confidence study where women were most often categorized as Day-to-Day Decision-Makers. This group is the financial profile with the highest level of stress and uncertainty about their fiscal future.7 Though not every woman surveyed fit this mold, those who did and were well-below-average in setting up a long-term plan, having protections like life insurance in place for their families, and working with a financial professional.

Steps to alleviate stress around your fiscal future

As Day-to-Day Decision-Makers, women understand how to navigate daily stresses to maintain order and control in the short-term. It’s the future that is more at stake, not only for themselves but their loved ones. Ultimately, knowledge is power. As women continue to accumulate wealth, economic power, and responsibility to provide for their loved ones, online research can help them gain confidence in their financial knowledge. Seeking out resources on life insurance, retirement, and financial empowerment is a great place to start. And reaching out to a financial professional can help women continue to grow their financial knowledge and manage their ever-increasing wealth.

With the appropriate blend of product knowledge, a renewed focus on financial literacy, and an understanding of the retirement road ahead, women and Day-to-Day Decision-Makers in general can begin to confidently protect their todays and strengthen their tomorrows.


1Women’s work boosts middle-class incomes but creates a family time squeeze that needs to be eased,” Brookings, May 2020,

2  “How much is mom really worth? The amount may surprise you,”, May 2022,

3  “Life Insurance Brief: U.S. Women,” LIMRA, March 21, 2022

4  Fry, Richard, “Women now outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated labor force,” September 26, 2022, Pew Research Center

5  “Life Insurance Brief: U.S. Women,” LIMRA, March 21, 2022

6   Facts About Life 2021, September 2021, LIMRA

The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional ConfidenceTM, 2021


Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, medical or financial advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees do not provide tax, legal, medical or financial advice. Consult your tax, legal, medical or finance professional regarding your individual situation.

Guardian® is a registered trademark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. ©Copyright 2023 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

Brought to you by The Guardian Network ©2023. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY

2023-153941 Exp. 5/2025 *pre-approved content*

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