If the thought of investing, planning for retirement and making important financial decisions makes you feel overwhelmed at all, you’re not alone. According to the Allianz Reclaiming the Future Study (2010):
- 33% of women feel financially unprepared for retirement
- 38% of women are uncertain that their income will last throughout their lifetime
- 37% of women are concerned about possibly outliving their sources of income
- 53% of women stated that protection and security for their assets has become more important
While the above statements may be the reality, we still find that women feel that the financial services industry at large has let them down (especially those with smaller investment accounts).
The reason becomes obvious when you realize that seventy-five to eighty percent of financial advisors are men.
Male advisors talk to women as if they were talking to men. They do not consider the fact that the topic of money for women is emotional and is much more complex than it is for men.
For women, making money decisions is not just a transaction like it is for men.
Consider also that most advisors target investors with larger account balances (five hundred thousand to one million dollars and above), because the bigger the account, the higher the fees.
When it comes to investing for a secure financial future, this leaves Middle Americans out of the picture.
Question: How are you as a woman going to get the help you need to plan for a successful retirement when you are the type of investor the average advisor overlooks?
Answer: Start with these 4 steps, which you can take starting today:
- Take charge of your finances. Live (20-30%) below your means. Pay off debt and increase savings.
- Increase your financial literacy by reading and taking classes, so you can learn how to create your own Do-it-Yourself retirement plan that includes guaranteed lifetime income and some sort of Long Term Care coverage.
- Don’t believe everything you hear from Wall Street. I highly recommend the book Blind Faith for an insider’s look behind Wall Street.
- Read books about women and money. One of the very first books I ever read about women and money is Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart about Money. I LOVE everything Barbara Stanny has ever written. In Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, she not only addresses the financial habits women need to adopt, but she also talks about the psychology behind money for women. Very enlightening!
The bottom line is this: as women, we need to make our financial well being our own responsibility. We need to be our own advocate in the area of our finances.
Any one of the four steps I listed above would be a great next step for anyone wanting to get started down the path of financial self-empowerment.
Here’s to your own financial empowerment!