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Younger Women Still Coming Up Short On Fiscal Decisions, Survey Finds

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A new survey finds while more women are planning for their financial future, an alarming number of younger generation women are still secondary when it comes to making fiscal decisions at home. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following "Money Matters" report.

Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and financial advice. That was the menu at a recent LearnVest Live event. The standing room only audience was made up primarily of women in their late 20s, proving that this is a generation focused on their finances -- and particularly their financial future.

"My biggest financial concern is emergency savings and retirement," says one participant.

"Getting a budget I can stick to and saving for the future," says another participant.

"Social Security is not gonna be there for me when I'm gonna be ready for retirement so I wanna take a much more responsible hands on role on my financial future," says a third participant.

Organizer and LearnVest CEO Alexa von Tobel says their instinct is spot on. The Golden Years may be decades off but the time to start planning for them is now.

"Start contributing to retirement. It's one of those things that time's really on your side. The earlier you start, the better it is," says Von Tobel.

And this isn't anecdotal. Let's say you start when you're 25.

"If you save $50 a month now, by the time you are 67, you will have $390 a month of retirement income. If you wait til you're 35, it's half that amount. So the power of saving early is really important," says Fidelity Personal Investing President Kathleen Murphy.

While Murphy was pleased to see so many young woman trying to take control of their money, it's what's happening after they're married that worries her.

A Fidelity survey found that while roughly a quarter of married Baby Boomer women consider themselves their household's primary financial decision maker, that number drops to just 12 percent for Gen Y women. Part of the problem, according to the survey, is that women tend to think of their male partners as being "better with numbers."

"It is disappointing and alarming. So women have made so much progress. Fifty-three percent of the breadwinners in the country now are women. They're breaking the glass ceiling at work and yet when they get home, they leave all of the financial decision making to their husband because of this view that men are better than numbers," says Murphy. "It's not true and women have to get over that."

Murphy's advice: Make money a frequent topic of conversation in your house and be sure you and your spouse are on the same page with both small day to day financial decisions and big future ones like retirement planning.

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