Financial Planning for Women
There are several financial factors that require women to plan for themselves differently than men. Women earn less than men performing the same work with the same qualifications. Seventy-eight cents on the dollar, to be exact. Women often experience years out of the workforce to care for family, further reducing lifetime earnings and retirement savings and benefits as well as Social Security benefits. Women systemically pay a premium price, the “pink tax,” for goods and services: clothes, shoes, haircuts, dry cleaning, toiletries (same product, different color or different package/container), and anything negotiable like homes, vehicles, repairs, etc. In addition, women live longer than men and need additional years of retirement funding. In short, women earn less, pay more, and have greater needs. The unique challenge we face is to strategize in different ways to meet women’s different basic needs.
A woman’s financial planning requisites, as an individual, can be met while planning together with a spouse or partner. As an individual, every woman has her own attitudes towards money, investment risk tolerances which need to be honored, spending and savings preferences, as well as financial educational needs that must be met. She requires a financial advisor who will support and respect her as a whole person rather than one-half of a couple. The time to consider a woman’s financial planning requirements is throughout her entire life, not when dealing with the leftovers of her husband’s financial plan.
Women are likely to be more negatively impacted by life’s transitions, like loss of a loved one or divorce, because they were not as “plugged-in” to the family finances as they ought to have been. Even if they thought they were. I once asked a woman to tell me about her involvement with the household finances and she assured me that she “…takes care of everything…I do all the shopping, budgeting, planned expenditures, vacations, pay all the bills…if it was up to him, the electric would get shut off.” I responded, “Ok, that takes care of all the money you no longer have. How about the money you do have?” Her response, “Oh, I don’t know anything about any of that.” Do you see what is wrong with that picture? She needs to know ALL about that.
I have made it my life’s work to help women understand how money really works and what they need to know and do for themselves as individuals. I help them plan for themselves, with dignity and respect, whether they share finances with someone else or are planning independently.