It’s no secret that the United States continues to have pay disparities between men and women, and a recent analysis from Pew Research confirms that pay inequities have not changed in 20 years. 

A lesser-known, but equally important disparity also exists – the gender wealth gap between men and women. In addition to making less money than men, women also have less money than them. According to a 2021 study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median wealth of women was just $0.55 for every dollar of male wealth. This data shows that the wealth gap is actually much wider than the pay gap. 

As female financial advisors, we have seen firsthand the challenges that many women face when it comes to having a written plan for their money and knowing the types of saving and investing opportunities available to them. Thrivent’s 2022 Consumer Financial Outlook Survey found that only 45% of women have a personal financial plan or strategy in place, compared to 64% of men. 

However, progress is happening quickly, and women are starting to build wealth and prioritize their financial prosperity like never before. A survey from Clever Girl Finance found that 79% of women express financial confidence in their ability to build long-term wealth. 

At Thrivent, we firmly believe everyone needs and deserves a written, personalized and actionable plan for their money. And, based on our experience with hundreds of clients, we can share five tips to help women take control of their finances and grow their personal wealth. 

  1. Build a strong foundation. It’s important for women to first to understand cash flow, which starts with monitoring their monthly income and expenses to understand what they have available for achieving their financial goals. Once they understand their cash flow, they can set specific goals for saving, spending, giving and investing. We also recommend that clients set financial goals that are aligned with their unique priorities and values. This will help keep them motivated and ensure their day-to-day money decisions are aligned with their broader life goals. 
  2. Create an emergency fund. Unexpected life events can happen anytime, so it’s important to have three to six months of living expenses in an accessible account that cannot lose value and gains modest interest – like a savings or money market account. Having an emergency fund is essential for women to handle unexpected life events such as sudden job loss, illness, or car repairs. Due to persistent inflation, we recommended to our clients that they increase the amount they’re putting away from every paycheck, if possible. Remember, consistency is key, and a small investment on a regular basis adds up over time.
  3. Make retirement planning a priority. Women typically live longer than men, which is why it’s important for them to plan and prepare for a longer retirement. When preparing for retirement, we tell clients to plan as though their money is going to outlive them. They should also estimate what their expenses will look like during their later years. Will they have a mortgage? Do they plan to travel more? Will they care for grandkids or other family members? Do they want to give back in meaningful ways to their community? Once they have a sense of what their expenses will be in retirement, they can build a written plan that will help them achieve their goals and priorities during that period of their life.   
  1. Understand different investment options. Many of our female clients tend to hold onto their cash instead of pursuing investment options, and we have seen that learning more about investing helps them feel more comfortable and confident. We recommend women who are new to investing talk with a financial advisor, read finance-focused blogs, or listen to credible finance-focused podcasts to increase their knowledge and comfort with investing topics. Investing is typically a long-term game, and the market will inevitably have ups and downs. However, by staying informed and taking a disciplined approach, women can build wealth and achieve their financial goals over time.
  1. Work with a financial advisor to create a written plan. Becoming an active participant in their finances can take time, but it’s important for women to remember that they don’t have to go at it alone. Choosing a financial advisor who is a good fit for their unique needs and goals is important. They should look for a financial advisor who shares their values and is someone they can trust to serve as a counselor and accountability partner as they make important money decisions. 

We understand that for some women, knowing how to best manage their money can feel overwhelming. This is why it’s so important to get educated and then take a proactive approach on important money matters. As they keep learning and building their knowledge, they’ll gain more confidence and clarity when it comes to their financial future. So, wherever people are on their financial journey, they should consider incorporating some of these tips into their planning so that they can have greater financial clarity and get one step closer to achieving their goals. 

Cathleen Wenger and Melissa Knippa are financial advisors at Thrivent, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services leader that offers advice, investments, insurance, banking and generosity programs and solutions.


About Thrivent
Thrivent is a diversified financial services organization that helps people achieve financial clarity, enabling lives full of meaning and gratitude. Thrivent and its subsidiary and affiliate companies serve more than 2.3 million clients, offering advice, insurance, investments, banking and generosity products and programs over the phone, online as well as through financial advisors and independent agents nationwide. Thrivent is a Fortune 500 company with $162 billion in assets under management/advisement (as of 12/31/22). Thrivent carries ratings from independent rating agencies which demonstrate the strength and stability of the organization, including an A++ rating from AM Best; an Aa2 rating from Moody’s Investors Service; and an AA+ rating from S&P Global Ratings. Ratings are based on Thrivent’s financial strength and claims-paying ability, but do not apply to investment product performance. For information on these ratings, visit the rating agency’s website. For more information about Thrivent, visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Insurance products, securities and investment advisory services are provided by appropriately appointed and licensed financial advisors and professionals. Only individuals who are financial advisors are credentialed to provide investment advisory services. Visit or FINRA’s BrokerCheck for more information about Thrivent’s financial advisors.


  • Cathleen Wenger and Melissa Knippa are financial advisors at Thrivent, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services leader that offers advice, investments, insurance, banking and generosity programs and solutions.