Despite more financial control, women still fear becoming a "bag lady."

Worried about running out of money in retirement? For women, the answer is likely, Yes.

The findings from a question posed in the 2013 Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) Women, Money, and Power Study* identified that half of all women (49%) who responded fear becoming broke and homeless — including 27% of those with $200,000+ household incomes.

Those fears persist even though women report feeling more empowered about financial planning than ever before. Of the women who responded, more than half (57%) said they both "have more earning power than ever before" and also "handle major investment decisions and retirement planning."

Financial crisis drives behavior change

The financial crisis of 2008–2009 appears to have influenced women's financial behaviors. Nearly seven in ten women who responded (68%) said they've increased their financial involvement. Yet, despite the increased involvement, 43% responded that they don't feel any smarter about how to manage their money than they did before the crisis.

Retirement is a common worry among most women. Second only to loss of a spouse or significant other, "running out of money in retirement" is a worry that keeps 57% of women up at night — and it's the number one worry for single and divorced women.

Women have unmet needs

"Women everywhere have unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money," said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. "Today, women clearly feel more invested in financial planning; however, fears of fiscal failure still persist."

Greater financial knowledge can help create feelings of more security. One place to start is to work with a financial professional.

Setting goals with an informed financial professional — one who takes the time to understand concerns and fears — can make all the difference in helping women feel more financially secure.

Allianz Life is dedicated to helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products.

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*The 2013 Allianz Life Women, Money, and Power Study was conducted by Larson Research + Strategy in December 2012 with 2,213 women, ages 25–75, with household income of $30,000/year or higher.