Don’t rely on Prince Charming



A study done by Hiroshima University (and by the way how ironic is that?) says that Japanese women still expect that their spouse will one day take charge of their retirement finances. Even if they are currently not even in a relationship. The same thought process has also been identified in American women.

The researchers studied data from an insurance company retirement savings plan, the Japanese equivalent to a 401(k). Women and men understood retirement options equally, yet women assumed a “Prince Charming” would make the decisions, or worse, that it would all work out somehow.

Since women earn less money to begin with and then live longer in retirement, the decision to make no decision can have big implications on how comfortable their eventual retirement will be.

I was feeling all superior about this until I remembered that my husband handles all our finances.

C’mon ladies. It’s time to educate ourselves about economic matters. Suze Orman, are you listening?



12 thoughts on “Don’t rely on Prince Charming

  1. I am soooo guilty of this! The “it will all work out somehow” thing is mine. I think all of my books will earn me millions, in the future. Because future people like me better, right? Scary to think about.

  2. This is partially related to how the two sexes relate to certain activities. Financial/investment subjects seem to resonate more with male personality than female. Of course you also have the additional social imbalance as well, especially in Japan. Even today, most women are treated as inferiors.

    An experience from a few days ago: I was on an airport transfer bus in London and sitting just behind the drivers seat. A few Japanese women boarded the bus, that had a few steep steps. On the front, an older lady tried cautiously to conquer the steps, but tripped. As the steps were steep, she landed on her hands and knees. I instinctively jumped from my seat to help. OK, this is an average story until now. What came next, was shocking. The woman just behind the old one (probably her daughter) started to apologise to me immediately! I was dumbfounded until I fully realised that they were Japanese, but it still left me in an uncomfortable situation. The daughter kept apologising while her mother got up and they left for some seats in the back. For me, it’s difficult to accept an apology when there is nothing to apologise for and I was just trying to help. If I don’t accept it, they may take it as a refused/failed apology and I could make them feel even worse.

    My whole point: They all reacted instinctively and obviously this was the natural way to behave for them. “An old woman should not fall in front of a man and disturb him.” 😦

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