Women are equal financial contributors to many households and but we often don’t play as big of a role in our financial planning. Why? Stereotypes, fear, lack of knowledge, too busy, distracted with other priorities, low confidence…whatever the reason, now is the time to get invested in your own future. According to BankRate.com, the number of women investors is surging at the same time as women’s wealth is increasing. By the end of the next decade, women in America are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers possess today.
One of my biggest joys is helping women chart out a financial plan to work toward their goals for the future. When I meet with clients, in the office or virtually, or, if it comes up in casual conversation, I’m often told “I know I should be more involved in financial planning, but I don’t know where to start.”
The answer is to start where you are now. The most important thing is TO START.
Here is the advice I share with my friends, co-workers and yes, you, my clients, on the must-haves to saving for your future.
- Continue to save, save, save. Put away what you can when you can. Start small if needed and watch it grow. Make it simple with out of sight, out of mind with direct deposit. Your future self will thank you and it is really empowering to realize you’ve done this!
- As I say all the time, make sure to be investing in your employer plans, and take advantage of other benefit plans where ever you can!
- Always make sure you are part of the conversation if you are in a relationship. Know what assets you bring to the table, what your partner is contributing as well as debt on either end AND what your goals are. Financial advisors can be a great counselor for these conversations and can outline how you can work toward your goals.
- Make an appointment to check in annually to work towards your goals. Remember to “pay yourself first” and start saving money for any emergencies.
- If you have a family, make sure you have proper insurance and healthcare benefits. Healthcare and medical costs are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy, and it’s important to understand your benefits and maximize them. Spend the time to find the right fit for your family and your budget.
- Lastly, do yourself a favor and complete your estate planning documents. Outline your wishes in a will, or set up a trust for your beneficiaries. Identify the executor and trustee of your estate and complete a Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney and/or a Living Will.
We don’t have our financial houses in order for a number of reasons. Maybe you didn’t learn financial skills from your family and racked up credit card debt. Or you have a student loan hanging over your head. Is the obligation of saving for your children’s college paralyzing you without a clear next step? If you are reading this now, you are on your way to starting your plan. Let’s do this!
Katy Ufferman (ChFC) is a chartered financial consultant with Maxwell Financial Management and leads the firm’s practice dedicated to helping women with their investments and retirement planning. She’s an advocate for helping women plan for their retirement, because her firm has found although more women are providing for their families when it comes to preparing for retirement, only 10% of women feel very confident in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle. TransAmericaCenter.org, 2017
The opinions voiced are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.