Kiwi women believe they need financial advice but many don't have the confidence to access it and are worried about the cost, research from AMP has revealed.
The financial advice and KiwiSaver provider undertook the research after a global study by Boston Consulting found women around the world were more dissatisfied with the financial services industry than any other that affects their daily lives.
Therese Singleton, general manager advice and sales at AMP, that view was not reflected by New Zealand women but it did find other concerning issues.
"Our research showed quite a different picture with 50 per cent of women quite happy with financial service provider."
Singleton said the women in that camp were most likely to have KiwiSaver and life insurance and had relatively simple products and they were okay with that.
But what came through with the remaining half was a huge lack of confidence and this was particularly true for younger women - those under the age of 35.
They know they need financial advice but they don't know how to access it and fear doing so, Singleton said.
"They have an overwhelming fear it will cost too much and that the financial adviser is just there to sell them a product."
Singleton said she suspected the belief they needed advice stemmed from younger women being more likely to be earning and contributing to a household than in the 1960s and being slightly more concerned about their financial future.
KiwiSaver had also changed the level of understanding of investing more people wanted to know how it worked.
She said people were questioning whether New Zealand Super would still be around when they retired and even if it was whether $20,000 a year would be enough to survive on.
Singleton said more and more women may also be thinking they won't get married and about being financially independent.
She said there wasn't one thing which stood out when it came to what women wanted from financial service providers but confidence emerged as a big issue.
Singleton believed that confidence issue went right back to school where fewer women were doing science and technology subjects and women were less confident about financial products.
But she said they needed to know right from the start how a credit card worked and if they got a mortgage how much money they would be paying back.
There were also female specific issues that women needed to understand like how taking time off to have children affected their finances.
Research from the US showed women there retired with just two-thirds the savings of men and already in New Zealand women's KiwiSaver balances were 30 per cent lower.
"There are very unique issues that women need to be aware of."
She also pointed to divorce where she said people thought nothing about paying to get legal advice but often did not get financial advice although the change in circumstances could have a massive impact on a person's financial situation.
Singleton said there needed to be more information around the costs of getting advice.
She said basic financial literacy should be free while the average basic financial plan should only cost $1000.
Singleton said talking to her neighbours would put the cost at around $10k but that was far from reality.
"It's about breaking down those barriers and being open about it."
Singleton said now it knew what the barriers were to women getting advice it would be looking at what sort of advice women wanted and whether they wanted specific products to suit them.