403bwise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The K-12 403(b) is broken.
Together we can fix it.
Dan's Blog

Women & Personal Finance πŸ‘©β€πŸ’ΌπŸ’΅

March 2, 2021

403bwise has put on or hosted more than 50 events on personal finance topics in the past year. But perhaps the most impressive one had very little involvement from us. On February 25, 2021, three educators and a personal finance writer created and presented Women & Personal Finance. 

I had written in advance of the event how impressed Scott and I were with each of the women presenting. It had been our good fortune to have met and interviewed each of them for our podcast (see below). Both Scott and I knew the event would be good. But frankly it was even more impressive than I had expected. I just re-watched the event on our YouTube channel and I think I know one of the reasons why: Honesty. These women were honest about themselves and the societal challenges women face in a way this white male all too often overlooks, despite thinking he doesn’t.  

Honest Coversations

Let’s not kid ourselves. Women face disproportionately more professional challenges than men. Women are more likely to be caregivers for children and adult parents. Women are also less likely to discuss saving for retirement. Yet for the reasons mentioned here and more — including the high rates of divorce — it is critical that women become comfortable discussing and engaging in personal finance decisions. 

Highlights of Women & Personal Finance Event

  • The four women spanned the career arc (beginning to retirement)
  • Two have experienced divorce and single parenthood 
  • One had to face the death of her father and a mother-in-law 
  • Two wrestle with student debt
  • All are honest about past money mistakes

Watch Women & Personal Finace

What Happens When Women Become Financially Savvy?

To the surprise of probably no one, when women get wise to personal finance, they are much more capable than men. Key findings from 20 years of research:

  • Female investors earn better returns than men — up to 1%, according to some studies
  • On average, women lost 2.5% of their stock portfolio value in 2015, while men lost 3.8%
  • Women are less confident in their investing ability than men, though investing confidence increases with age
  • Around a quarter of women have money in the stock market, and women are more likely than men to keep significant amounts of their assets in cash
  • Less than 5% of women take a good deal of risk in their portfolios
  • Women stay the course by trading stocks and changing asset allocations less frequently than men
  • Despite earning 20% less, women have higher savings rates and retirement plan participation than men

Gendered Profession

It’s no secret that teaching is a highly gendered profession. According to the National Center for Education Statistics more than three quarters of K-12 teachers are female. The imbalance is even starker in the speech language pathologist field where close to 95% of SLPs are female. 

Could this be a reason K-12 403(b) vendor choices are so poor? Can you think of a male dominated profession with such terrible investing choices?


Stay wise and well (and check out our upcoming Events).

Related Podcast:

Fire in the Belly New Jersey teacher says no to bad 403(b) choices and yes to educating colleagues about saving for retirement. Listen Now »

Related Podcast:

Penny Pinching Pathologist New York speech pathologist gets wise to saving for retirement while helping others. Listen Now »

Related Podcast:

Saying No to No Undaunted by roadblocks, a 30-year-old Speech Language Pathologist adds a better 403(b) vendor to her employer's offerings. Listen Now »

Related Podcast:

Jackie Cummings Koski, author of Money Letters 2 My Daughter, a book of financial wisdom written for her then high school aged daughter. Listen Now »

Related Podcast:

Women & Personal Finance Three educators β€” Danielle Greco, Jessica Logan and Tara Slyman β€” and a personal finance author, Jackie Cummings Koski, shared their perspective in this 2.25.21 403bwise Event. Listen Now »