Research Reveals Widening Gender Gap in Financial Outcomes
According to recent research from JPMorgan Chase, there is a gender gap when it comes to financial outcomes, particularly having to do with extraordinary medical expenses.
The study, based on data from 210,000 Chase checking accounts, found women have 20% lower levels of income and liquid assets than men, and have higher credit card debt. 76% of women have revolving credit card debt compared to 70% of men.
When an extraordinary medical expense arises, the gap between men and women widens. Women face both higher costs and are in a weaker position to handle the unexpected expense. The average medical payment for women represented 52% of their monthly income, compared to 48% for men, and since women’s liquid assets were 20% lower than men’s, they were not able to raise the money as easily as men.
The research also indicates women are feeling the negative affects of these extraordinary bills for a longer time period than men. While making these payments, 35% of women increased their revolving credit card balance (compared to just 29% of men), which means women were left with 9% more credit card debt than men after paying for the medical expenses.
“These findings demonstrate the importance of designing and providing more solutions that improve women’s ability to weather and rebound from financial shocks,” said Diana Farrell, President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Institute. “They also point to a critical need to understand the impact that medical expenses have on women. Should out-of-pocket healthcare costs increase for women, they may have to shoulder more of the economic burden of receiving care than men do.”