Millennial women more likely than baby boomers to defer financial decisions to husbands, study finds

Many millennial women believe men know more about finances and would rather leave financial planning responsibilities to their male partners, according to the New York Times.

A June study from Swiss banking group UBS surveyed 1,320 women who share at least $250,000 in investable assets with a male partner, finding that even millennial women who were highly educated or had high-paying jobs were not as involved as their male partners in financial decision making.

Fifty-four percent of millennial women reported letting their male partner take the lead on financial planning instead of handling it themselves or sharing the responsibility. Just 39 percent of women from the baby boom generation reported the same. The study defines a millennial as anyone age 24 to 39 and a baby boomer as anyone age 56 to 74.

Survey participants cited a belief that their male partner knew more about finances than they did as the primary reason for taking the back seat on financial planning.

The study also found that 76 percent of millennial women saw involvement in financial decisions as necessary for equality in their relationship, compared to 89 percent of baby boom women.

U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., told the New York Times that her financial competence allowed her to leave her abusive husband, and she is worried many women do not recognize that being able to handle financial decisions is a key factor in maintaining freedom and security.

When talking about women’s salary increases, she asked the New York Times, “But what good does that raise do you if you don’t know what your savings plan is going to be with that little bit of extra money? What good does it do to climb that ladder and get that next higher-paying job with better benefits if you don’t take the time to invest that retirement fund correctly?”

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