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Study Reveals Women Feeling Growing Financial Pressures on Family Life
Date:4/28/2008

Findings Reveal Insights on What Key Issues Matter Most to Women and Role

Women Play in Shaping the Upcoming Presidential Election

NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a unique collaboration between two of the nation's leading media companies, Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) today announced key findings of a nationwide survey conducted among more than 3,000 women that covered a wide range of important topics to women, including marriage and family, health and fitness, safety, and financial matters.

The below findings from the Meredith/NBC Universal "What do Women Want?"(TM) study examines why the economy and personal financial challenges are at the forefront of the upcoming Presidential election and how women are shaping the debate. Women and their families are experiencing tremendous financial woes -- on issues ranging from housing to credit card debt to healthcare -- and are very concerned about their long term financial security.

-- Two-thirds (68%) of women cite "financial strain" as a major threat to

the American Family -- and a much bigger threat than "divorce" (48%),

"loss of faith/spirituality" (47%), "liberal views on sex and

sexuality" (32%), "both parents working" (28%), "unwed mothers" (21%)

and "couples living together instead of getting married" (19%)

-- The majority (79%) of women in dual income HHs say it is "essential

for both spouses/partners to be employed in order to make ends meet"

-- Six in 10 women are concerned about being able to pay their bills each

month (60%) -- especially high among single mothers with children

under 18 (80%)

-- 72% of women are concerned about rising taxes -- especially Boomer

women (81%)

-- 4 in 10 (38%) women "feel overwhelmed by financial burdens" -- even

higher for Gen X (47%) and mothers of children under 18 (47%) and

single mothers with children under 18 (52%)

-- 4 in 10 (38%) women have incurred medical debt -- even higher among

mothers of children under 18 (49%), especially young mothers 18-34

(59%)

-- Only 15% of women say they do not have any debt

-- 22% of women report being over $20,000 in non-mortgage debt -- even

higher for Gen X women (30%)

-- Three quarters of women are concerned about the future of social

security (77%) and saving enough for retirement (75%)

"What do Women Want?"(TM) brings together the resources of Meredith, recognized for its well-known media brands such as Ladies' Home Journal, More, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness, Siempre Mujer and BHG.com among others, and NBC Universal whose brands include The Today Show, MSNBC, Bravo, Oxygen, Access Hollywood, Telemundo, and iVillage.

DETAILED FINDINGS*:

Women & Financial Woes:

Housing

-- 57% of women are concerned about being able to pay monthly

mortgage/rent -- even higher among Gen X women (65%) and mothers with

children under 18 (64%) and single mothers with children under 18

(72%)

-- One quarter (26%) of women and/or their partners are counting on real

estate and home equity for retirement

-- 72% of women are concerned about rising taxes -- even higher among

Boomer women (81%)

Non-Mortgage Debt & Credit Cards

-- 85% of women report being in some sort of debt -- with Gen Y women

being the least likely to have debt (24% report no debt)

-- 22% of women have over $20,000 in debt, excluding mortgage debt --

Gen X (30%) especially likely to be more than $20,000 in non-mortgage

related debt

-- 62% of women have credit card debt -- even higher among Gen X (72%)

and young mothers 18-34 (70%)

-- 51% of women are concerned about credit card debt -- even higher among

Gen X (64%)

-- 28% of women say "credit card debt prevents me from saving for the

future" -- even higher for Gen X women (36%)

-- Only 31% of women report paying off their credit card bills every

month -- even lower for Gen X (26%), young mothers 18-34 (21%) and

single mothers with children under 18 (21%)

-- 26% say they "dread the arrival of their credit card bills every

month" -- even higher among Gen X women (35%) and mothers of children

under 18 (34%) and single mothers with children under 18 (41%)

Healthcare

-- Nearly half (46%) of women are extremely concerned about rising health

care costs -- especially high among Boomer women (55%) and single

mothers with children under 18 (52%)

-- 38% have incurred debt from medical bills -- even higher among mothers

of children under 18 (49%), especially young mothers 18-34 (59%)

-- One in 5 (18%) women report that they do not have health insurance

coverage -- even higher among single mothers with children under

18 (24%)

-- Among those women who do have health coverage, nearly half (46%) are

worried about being able to afford healthcare when they retire and 40%

say their "co-payments keep increasing and becoming too expensive"

-- Baby Boomer women with health insurance coverage are especially likely

to be worried about how they will afford healthcare when they retire

(52%) as are single mothers with children under 18 (53%)

-- One-quarter of insured women say they "can only afford generic

prescriptions" (25%) and "sometimes don't fill a prescription because

it is too expensive" (22%)

-- Single mothers are especially likely to say that they can only afford

generic brand prescriptions (38%)

-- 18% of single mothers with children under 18 also say that their

current healthcare coverage doesn't include all members of their

family (vs. 11% of Total insured women) and to say that "the family

plan is too expensive to add to my existing plan" (23% vs. 9% Total

insured women)

-- When given a list of social issues that affect American society,

"uninsured Americans" is among the top 5 concerns among women along

with "child abuse", "drug/substance abuse", "domestic violence", and

"homelessness"

Women & Their Financial Future

Retirement & Social Security

-- Three quarters of women are concerned about the future of social

security (77%) and saving enough for retirement (75%) -- Baby Boomer

women are especially concerned about the future of social security

(84%) while Gen X women are particularly concerned about saving enough

for retirement (84%)

-- Two-thirds (67%) of women and/or their partners are counting on social

security for retirement -- this is especially high for Baby Boomer

women (79%)

-- Two-thirds of Gen X women and/or their partners are counting on social

security (65%) and their 401(k)/Roth/IRAs for retirement (64%)

-- 32% of women and/or their partners are counting on a company pension

for retirement, especially Boomer women (42%)

-- Mothers of children under 18 and single mothers are more likely than

most to be concerned about saving enough for retirement as well

(82%, 85% respectively)

Personal Savings & Investing

-- 52% of women and/or their partners are counting on personal

savings/investments for their retirement

-- Only half (54%) of women put money in savings on a regular basis --

somewhat higher for Gen Y (60%)

-- Only 13% of women say they regularly make investments in stocks, bonds

or mutual funds

-- 38% say they feel overwhelmed by the complexities of investing

Please credit all data to Meredith/NBC Universal "What do Women Want?" survey of 3,000 women

Applied Research & Consulting conducted an online survey among 3,000** women ages 18-64 from October 1 to October 12, 2007. The data was sample balanced to reflect the U.S. Census Bureau and has an overall margin of error or +/- 2.5% at the 95% confidence level. ** Some sections were administered to a split sample to accommodate the length of the survey.

About NBC Universal

NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

About Meredith Corporation

Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP: http://www.meredith.com) is a one of America's premier media and marketing companies. Meredith combines well-known national brands -- including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, American Baby, Fitness and More -- with local television brands in fast growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness, and self-development. The Company then uses multiple distribution platforms -- including print, television, online, mobile and video -- to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its marketing partners. Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. The goals of these programs are to increase consumer loyalty and produce repeated consumer interaction. In the last two years, Meredith has significantly added to its capabilities in this area through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in areas such as online, word-of-mouth and database marketing. Meredith employs approximately 3,000 people throughout the United States, including approximately 1,000 in Des Moines and 750 in New York City. The Company's 2007 annual revenues were $1.6 billion.


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SOURCE Meredith Corporation
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