How to Boost Your Financial Savvy

Women need to know how financial knowledge can help them take care of their families and themselves.

Annamaria Lusardi, professor of economics and accountancy at George Washington University
Annamaria Lusardi, professor of economics and accountancy at George Washington University
(Image credit: Photo by Djenno Bacvic)

Annamaria Lusardi is a professor of economics and accountancy at George Washington University and academic director of the university’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. She has done extensive research on the topic of women and financial literacy. Her most recent paper is “Fearless Woman: Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation.”

Based on your research, what is the current state of financial literacy among women? In 2017, we created the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index to examine financial literacy among U.S. adults across eight areas of personal finance. Women know less in almost each of them compared to men—and when there isn’t a difference, men also know very little. The areas with the biggest gap are investing; insuring, which includes both insurance products and things like emergency savings; and understanding risk—for example, the risk of investing in a single asset.

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Janet Bodnar
Contributor

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.