Gender inequality is alive and well when it comes to money, at least among older generations. A majority of high-net-worth men over the age of 47 say they are better qualified than their wives at investing the family money.
A U.S. Trust survey of adults with $3 million or more in investable assets shows that among married couples over the age of 67, only 34 percent participate equally in investment decisions. Among baby boomer couples, it rises to 39 percent. But the numbers shift as the respondents' ages fall: Nearly half of couples aged 18 to 46 share equally in financial decisions.
Comments from older women in the survey suggest that it isn't that they believe themselves to be incapable of investing -- it just never occurred to them to take on a role their husbands were enjoying and doing well.
"It's very definitively a generational type of thing," says Chris Heilmann, chief fiduciary executive at U.S. Trust. "As we look to the younger generations, the level of activity and interest among women is stronger," he says. "The men are looking to the women, wanting them to be part of the interaction and having respect for their opinions."
But even the older women in the survey don't remain in the dark about all family finances. They take on a more equitable role in decisions involving how money will be budgeted and spent day-to-day and decisions regarding philanthropy.
Who controls the investment and spending decisions in your household?
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