Thank you to SheSpeaks and Prudential for sponsoring this post and helping me share financial planning for women and some of the investment challenges women are facing.
Early in my professional career I had the good fortune to get to know one of my coworkers, Andy. Andy was only a few years older than myself but he knew more about mapping out future goals than I did.
He encouraged me to start investing right away, to utilize the company match to my 401k. I was thankful for his advice as “investing 101″ isn’t something they taught in school back then. I started off strong – participating in the company match, doing research, reading prospectuses, the whole nine yards.
Before long, though, I switched jobs and lost my investing mentor. Without having someone to ask questions of, or to prod me, it fell to the backburner of my importance list.
Financial Planning for Women
Unfortunately women in general don’t invest to the same degree as men¹. Our discomfort in the investing process means we are apt to delay investing, invest more in low-risk/low-returns, and more likely to run out of money in retirement. That last part is especially scary.
While I started out strong with my investment planning, dropping it like a hot potato amidst the craziness of the life of a twenty-something didn’t really do me any favors. But my future is no longer just about me and it’s time to get back on the investment wagon.
Bubbles is six and while that means we’re out of the expensive diaper years, it means the even more expensive college years are just around the corner. At some point after that, there will probably be a wedding, and then grandkids to spoil.
I’m acutely aware that I may be providing some of that assistance alone. My husband is nine years older than myself, and women already outlive men by an average of 5-6 years². Realistically speaking, when I plan for the future, I need to factor in that I may have years of solo income for which to account.
Some women also experience wage and time gaps. Some women also feel they don’t have time for financial planning, which affects their futures. On average, women in the U.S. spend 28 hours per week on household chores – 65 percent more than the average for men³. Not enough income and not enough time for financial planning can derail your planning efforts or even make it seem not worthwhile. Women can use the Prudential “Value of all you do” tool to quickly see the value of your daily tasks and what it would cost to pay someone else to do those for you.
No matter what challenges you personally are facing, it’s important that you give your finances the attention they deserve. Decide what you want and need to save for, the activities you want to be able to participate in during your retirement, and then set a plan for getting there.
Start owning your financial future by finding a Prudential financial advisor near you.
What are your saving and retirement goals? Do you have tips on financial planning for women?
1 Source: http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/sallie-krawcheck- ellevest-launch
2 Source: Prudential Retirement analysis; National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD. 2016
3 Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54757