The facts speak volumes…Today women are the primary breadwinners in 44 percent of the U.S. households. 38% of women out-earn their husbands and it is estimated that women will control more than 67% of the wealth by the year 2020.
Yet, a survey found that women are 44% less likely to consider themselves knowledgeable about asset allocation, investment and financial decisions. And 2/3 of women said they work with a financial adviser who either misunderstood them or neglected them.
But, there’s good news! It’s 2018, and things are changing. According to a recent Forbes article, “Five Reasons Women are Taking the Lead in Financial Planning,” women are more willing to educate themselves. By continuing the conversation surrounding your pocketbook and further educating yourselves on yours and your family’s personal financial matters, you’re providing another level to the conversation that has long been left to the members of the opposite sex.
We as women, are better planners because we are more inclined to worry about every aspect of financial matters. We are also more likely to get help when we don’t know something. And, according to Abigail Sussman, of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and member of the Morningstar Behavioral Science Advisory Board, “Research points to cases where women actually outperform relative to men.”
And, it’s a good thing we as women, are more decisive because it is estimated that 90% of all women will be solely responsible for our own or our family’s finances at some point in our lives.
So, if you are looking to take control of your finances and aren’t sure of what steps to take first, here are 5 important steps to financial wellness that you’ll want to know more about as you’re boning up on your own personal financial situation.
5 Steps to Financial Wellness
- Manage your Debt – Get it under control with a plan and a schedule to pay it off.
- Gain control of your budget – Be accountable! Monitor your expenses vs. your income both weekly and monthly. Keep a spreadsheet and stay on track.
- Have a savings plan – Once your debt and your budget are under control, start saving for your short-term, intermediate and long-term goals.
- Match your investments with your financial goals – If it’s a short-term goal, use low risk FDIC Insured Savings or Money Market Accounts. If it’s an intermediate or long-term goal, get assistance from a financial professional to help you select a diversified mix of investments.
- Get to know the important planning tools such as living trusts, wills, directives, durable powers, a financial plan, a giving plan and written instructions that detail where things are.
Sound like a lot? Don’t worry. The best thing to do is to take one of these steps at a time and focus in on it. Master it, gain control of it and move on to the next step. If you have questions, do what we women typically do, call a professional and get help. It may take just a few hours with a professional to gain the knowledge that could start you on the path to Financial Wellness.
Important Note: The views expressed in this post are as of the date of the posting and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This post contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.
Please note that nothing in this post should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing is intended to be, and should not be taken to be, investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. If you would like investment, accounting, tax or legal advice, you should consult with your own financial advisors, accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs. No advice may be rendered by Lenity Financial, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.
-Prudential Study 2015 – Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women
-Center for Talent Innovation – Harnessing the Power of the Purse
-U.S. Census Bureau, 1988–2010. Current population survey annual social and economic supplements. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau
-The Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumer — Women, (Pearson/Prentice Hall 2006), author Fara Warner