A full 82% of single millennial women in the US want to get married someday—and when they do, they expect their spouse to provide financial security.

Among married millennial women, only about 4 in 10 participate in long-term investing and financial planning.

These are among the findings to emerge from a new UBS Investor Watch Pulse,"Single point of view,"(PDF, 1016 KB) which surveyed 883 single investors, of all ages, who have never been married. "I would want to be involved in long-term financial decisions, but would feel more comfortable with someone else leading and explaining it to me," said one 30-year-old single woman interviewed for the survey.

Among other key findings: 

  • Single women feel more financially knowledgeable than married women—but less so than single men. In the survey, 61% of single men said they "know a lot about investing," compared to 45% of single women and 28% of married women who feel this way.
  • Among single women, millennials are the least engaged with their finances. For example, 61% of single millennial women say they put other parts of their lives ahead of their finances, compared to 38% of single Generation X women and 28% of single Baby Boomer women. And 59% of single millennial women said they know they should be doing more with their finances, versus 47% of Gen-Xers and 22% of Boomers.
  • Millennial women are willing to tap their retirement accounts early One third of millennial women have already dipped into their retirement accounts, compared to just 9% of single Gen-X women and 5% of single Boomer women. Another 29% of millennial women would consider doing so.

The findings on single women are in keeping with the results of a recent global UBS Investor Watch survey, "Own your worth," which found that younger women around the world are leaving investing and financial planning decisions to their spouses. That survey found that younger women were most likely to say they have more urgent responsibilities than investing and financial planning, and were more likely to believe their spouses know more about long-term finances.

Regardless of the rationale, failing to plan for the future carries risk. As women live longer, the likelihood of becoming widowed or divorced increases. Inevitably, women who plan for these possibilities will be better prepared.

By sharing decisions jointly, both women and men can face the future with optimism—and set an example of financial partnership for generations to come.

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