“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.”
— Lana Turner (1921-1995) American film and television actress
The topic of women and money is abundant with funny quips and jokes like the one above. And the financial lives of many households are often aligned along traditional gender roles, with the man assuming responsibility for investments and cash flow.
However, it’s not an accurate picture of American financial life. According to an Equity Research report conducted in April of 2013 by Goldman Sachs, women control up to 60% of the wealth in the US, but often, they don’t make the decisions about their long-term financial future. (1)
It’s not that women have their heads in the sand. It’s that women tend to view financial matters very differently than men do.
For most women, money means security, while for most men it means freedom. Monetary security means that women can focus on the immediate and practical concerns of their day-to-day lives – fulfilling the roles they occupy as a spouse, a parent, and as caregiver for aging relatives. And as long as they have that sense of security, their financial concerns are relatively few.
Life can be unpredictable. Financial security can be threatened quickly by a simple turn of events. Women can find themselves widowed, caring for aging parents, supporting kids that have returned to the nest, raising grandchildren, or dealing with a chronic medical condition. These life changes can suddenly bring financial issues to the forefront, and they find themselves asking very specific questions about money:
- “Will I outlive my money?”
- “Will my expenses increase faster than my income?”
- “Will I have enough money to care for my children, my parents, and my spouse & me… in the lifestyle that is important to us?”
- “Will my wealth be meaningful after I’m gone?”
Consider this: An article written by Hadley Malcom in 2012 for USA Today states that, “90% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.” If you’re a woman, doesn’t it make sense to take control of your financial future ahead of time? (2)
Working With a Fee-Only Financial Adviser
While a CPA can help with tax minimization, you may want to seek the services of a fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ for comprehensive wealth management advice. If your financial adviser is registered with the National Association of Financial Advisors (NAPFA), he or she is obligated to put your best interest first which can provide for peace of mind. Specifically, a fee-only financial adviser can:
- Help ensure that your own financial needs are a priority and that you have a savings plan
- Help ensure your children have the financial help they need early
- Help ensure your parents can be well cared for
Fee-only financial advisers are different. They’re not in business just to sell you a specific financial product. They’re a resource to help you identify, manage, and balance risk in your investments, provide guidance toward your financial goals, and design a course of action that is achievable. The fee that you pay for their services gives you access to a wealth of expertise that is unbiased and focused on your goals and financial well-being.
It’s no secret that women live longer than men. An article written in 2009 by Debra J. Mesch, Ph.D. from IUPUI states that, “Because women, on average, live longer than men, women will end up stewarding of much of the $41 trillion expected to pass from generation to generation over the next fifty years”. Working with a fee-only financial adviser can help to maximize your portion of that transfer of wealth to the next generation. (3)
Published: April 3, 2015
Authored By: Ann Pendley
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