Financial literacy and wellness among U.S. women: Self-perceptions

Many women do not know what they do know in terms of financial literacy. Consuming and earning are the areas where the largest share of women rate their financial knowledge as being highest (26% and 21%, respectively) (Figure 3). While these are areas of relative strength in terms of financial literacy, clearly many do not recognize the level of knowledge they possess regarding borrowing. While borrowing is where functional knowledge is greatest among women, only 10% rate themselves most knowledgeable in this area. Perhaps challenges individuals face in managing debt are viewed as signaling a lack of knowledge.

At the same time, many women do not know what they do not know. Investing is by far where the largest share (37%) think they know the least, and this is an area of relative weakness with 43% of the index questions on investing answered correctly. However, only 15% think comprehending risk is where they know the least, when it is actually where women show the lowest level of functional knowledge. Many seem to not recognize their more prevalent weakness.

2020 P-Fin Index Figure 3
 Source: TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (2020).