Cultural Differences in Saving

Saving and spending as learned behaviors

by Chia-Li Chien | June 06, 2011

Recently, I was pleased to be one of the panelists for “The Financial Outlook for Women Across Race and Culture In Today’s Economy” by the Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange. I was delighted to see over 200 participants at Queens University attending this interesting look at this topic.

Here are some of the questions and answers we took during my panel discussion:

Question 3: What does retirement, business exit or cashing out mean to women business owners?

Chia-Li’s Answer:

Chia-Li Chien's Presentation

When I was writing my first book “Show Me The Money - Run Your Business like a Prosperous Investor” in 2009, I realized there is very limited statical data about behaviors in running a successful small business. As a result, I decided to conduct a Business Value Drivers Study in July of 2010. I interviewed nearly 60 small businesses in 2 months and found that 72% of the participants believe exiting their business is NOT a priority in business. Some 52% don’t know when they want to retire. (Please keep in mind that the majority of participants have the following characteristics: mostly women, over 40 years old, with more than $1MM annual revenue.) Most owners or entrepreneurs simply don’t have an end in mind.

Chia-Li Chien's Presentation


According to the Center for Women's Business Research, 39.3% of women business owners will sell to a third party, 21.3% will pass the business on to family members, 3.5% will simply close the business and 17.3% have no plan. And a majority of business owners don't want to think about an exit. Why? Because 78.8% believe that going into retirement is the trigger point for when they need to begin to think about their exit. Don't you think it's a bit too late at that point? Things take time, and you can count on needing about three to seven years to strategically increase the value of your business, regardless of whom the buyer is.

Additional Article: Which Exit Strategy Is Right for You?


  • Chia-Li Chien, Chien Associates LLC. Business Value Drivers Study; July 2010.
  • Center for Women’s Business Research. 2007. Exiting your business: Serendipity or Strategy?

Other questions:

Question 1: What are the differences when it comes to money and savings among Asian Americans, Native-Americans, Caucasians and why?

Question 2: What is the difference when it comes to money – both saving and spending – in women-owned small businesses?


Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li "like JOLLY!" Passionate leader of small business strategic value creation and implementation Mastery. She is CEO and chief strategist of Value Growth Institute –Creating business value that transforms your world. She is the Award-Winning author of "Show Me the Money." Grab a free sample of "PROFITS MATTER® 1GAP" to grow your business at


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