As a female Financial Advisor working in an industry traditionally dominated by men I find myself in the unique position to empower women to pursue their financial goals.
Many of the women I have worked with have made great progress, but industry studies point to a startling fact: when it comes to planning for our retirement, women fall short when compared to men.
Instead of concentrating on the differences between men and women and the reasons why women are falling short, I prefer to focus on some core concepts that all women should consider in order to improve their finances.
Prioritize yourself and set financial goals
It’s easy to put off saving and planning for retirement and prioritize other expenses when you are busy building a career and/or taking care of a family. However, your ability to take care of others is also dependent on your ability to take care of yourself. Making smart decisions with your money is key to assuring that you will be financially independent in the future. Most woman master saving but tend to lack confidence when it comes to investing and planning- this is where a financial plan can help.
It is important to identify where you stand financially right now and create goals that clearly identify where you want to be in the future. Once you know your financial goals, you can create a financial plan that identifies the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. Building a plan will help you pinpoint key opportunities and weaknesses in your finances and then take action. You are also much more likely to achieve your goals once they are in writing.
Don’t fear the golden years
Many women(and men) want to stay young forever and that can lead to a failure to admit that they are aging or will grow old. But let me tell you – getting old happens to all of us (if we are lucky) and there is no way to avoid it, so take steps now to ensure that you will be able to retire comfortably.
Plan for your future
While it may sound optimistic, an attitude of “it will all work out” is not realistic when it comes to finances. It’s not a good idea for anyone to assume that their financial future is secure, or depend on someone else to plan for them.
It is also important to recognize that if you are married to a man, you will most likely outlive your spouse (5 years on average). While you cannot control how long you live, you can plan for financial security. It’s a good idea for every woman, married, single, or somewhere in-between to have a financial plan in place and understand how their current financial decisions may affect that plan.
Leave a legacy
How will your loved ones remember you? Long-term commitment to saving and wise investing can change your family’s future, possibly even for generations to come. It all starts with you identifying what kind of legacy you want to leave behind.
You can also take steps to ensure that the wealth you leave behind is a blessing and not a burden. Establishing and maintaining accurate documents including wills, directives, trusts and beneficiary designations will allow you to identify who will receive your assets after you pass away, and simplify the process of settling your estate.
Meet with a professional
Women have been traditionally less likely to seek out professional financial advice, but I have observed a gradual change over the last few years. More women are independently seeking the assistance of a Financial Advisor and recommending that other women do the same. It is important to talk to other women about money; the more women talk to each other about being involved in handling their own finances, the more comfortable women will be in making important financial decisions.
As investors, women face unique obstacles in terms of both earning money and making that money grow for the future. Despite this challenge, women also have equal access to investing and investment advice. Accumulating adequate resources for longer lives requires substantial savings coupled with reasonably aggressive investing – both of which women are more than able to do.
Rose Price, CFP® AIF® is a partner at VLP Financial Advisors. She believes that strategic planning is the key to creating, protecting, and growing wealth. Rose offers a complimentary initial consultation to anyone interested in investment advice and/or creating a financial plan.
Want to learn more?
VLP Financial Advisors
8391 Old Courthouse Rd., Suite 203
Vienna, VA 22182
Rose Price is a Registered Representative of and offers Securities and Advisory Services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.