Let's face it, women and men are different when it comes to how we think and how we behave. This theory also holds true when it comes to how we manage our money. In this blog post I've gathered a few of the top financial concerns of women when it comes to dealing with their finances. I've also included a few helpful hints to start you down the path to financial success.
Lack of financial knowledge, lack of confidence, or lack of time.
Traditionally men have taken on the role of handling finances for the family. Women are usually busy taking care of the kids, the house and probably working too. On the surface this seems like a fair way to divide the household chores but what happens if your husband is no longer able to handle the finances? What if he’s not there anymore, possibly due to a death or divorce? Will you know what to do or even where to look for the important documents? This is the problem with letting one partner handle all of the money. It needs to be a joint collaboration. Both partners need to be aware of the household’s financial situation. This will allow you to gain the needed knowledge of your finances and also give you the confidence you need to be able to move in to the role of managing your money if you need to.
The good news here is that women tend to make better long term investors. They trade less, meaning less fees and hold on to their investments longer. The bad news is that they tend to avoid risk all together. Women’s reluctance to take risk can hurt them because they won’t be making the returns needed to keep up with rising inflation. You remember the old saying, “risk=reward”.
Women tend to be caretakers.
This is a very admirable trait and we should applaud all of the self less women out there that take such good care of other people. The problem is that they aren’t always remembering to take good care of themselves. Women take care of their children, their husbands, and their parents. This can take a toll of their ability to take care of themselves physically and financially. Women need to prepare their finances and plan for the future when they will need the funds to take care of themselves.
Women live longer than men.
This is yet another reason why you should have an understanding of your family’s financial situation. Women tend to outlive men by roughly 6 years. This means you will likely need to take over the finances at some point due to the death of a spouse. You will also need to plan for having resources for a longer period of time.
Based upon all of this information there are a few things that you may want to consider.
Get involved with your finances. Whether you decide to take the lead on handling the finances, split the duties or just spend an hour or so every month going over the family money situation, get involved! Communication is key here. You may even find that your partner welcomes your participation.
Be organized and have a plan. Having a clear plan for your finances is always a good idea. Knowing what you owe, what you own and where to find important documents is essential if there is an unforeseen emergency.
Have a good team on your side. Hiring a divorce financial professional is a great step in putting you on a path to financial freedom. They will help you identify where you are now, set financial and life goals and create a solid plan to get you there. If you already have a financial advisor that you and your spouse are happy with, then make sure you are involved in all of the planning meetings. It’s your life and your future, shouldn’t it be your priority?