Preface: First, let me acknowledge that the differences between the sexes can be a touchy subject. Whenever someone talks about men and women in general terms, we must pick our words carefully not to sound like we are promoting sexist stereotypes or being tone-deaf. This is certainly not our intention with this information.
This note is born out of real-life things we now regularly see in financial planning.
With so many people transitioning into retirement, we are seeing some trends emerge where we are well suited to help.
Unfortunately, losing a spouse is an all too common tragic occurrence.
Our team has walked with several of our clients through this in the past year. It is some of the most important work we can do.
Here is why:
Imagine you just lost your husband of 40 years to a long health battle.
The last few years have been some of the most difficult in your life, but you also enjoyed spending time with him during his final days. Saying goodbye, arranging the funeral and events was stressful enough.
You are trying to adjust, but hard. Finance worries are putting stress on you all the while.
Widows are often unsure where to turn for help if their husband has been in charge of the family finances.
Men usually handle the couple's money even to this day, though fortunately, that trend is slowly fading. It leaves the surviving spouse in a tough situation and uncertain of what best to do with the often sizable amount of assets.
Financial literacy is one reason why we always try to bring both spouses into planning conversations. We believe it's important for both of them to know how their finances are doing and if they are on track to be okay.
Women Will Emerge as the Primary Investors
Not only are women the primary purchase decision-makers for more households now, but they are shepherding more and more of the family assets every year. By 2030 it is estimated they will hold over $30 trillion of investment assets. It's no doubt that years of hard work went into saving for the future, and managing the family's money can sometimes benefit from outside professional help.
The good news is evidence shows that female investors are better than men.
Females tend to have a long-term focus and are less susceptible to getting caught up in the hot investing fad of the day.
Why I Care
I grew up being around adults a lot. Namely, my grandparents Bridget, Si, Ann, and Wally. While other children were off playing games in the street, I would listen to stories, reading, and listening to talk radio. Friends and family have said that I have an 'old soul' – probably from not only my bookish tendencies but also from my affinity for my elders! It's had quite the impression on me as I've aged and grown a family of my own.
Generations of family growing older together is a wonderful thing. When examining what's important in life, it's obvious to me how important these connections are.
So by my nature, I thrive when helping retired women and widows who may be unsure where to turn for financial help when their husband passes away.
Helping this portion of the investor world has a special place in my heart. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with retired women, sharing family stories, and listening to what is important to them. Whether it's an afternoon phone call, sharing family photographs on Facebook, or even just getting down to business to optimize their portfolio, it's time well spent. Many of my retired female clients have become close personal friends over the years, and for that I am grateful.
Retired Women Are at Risk
Turning to finances, retired widows are sometimes the target of financial scammers or "less than optimal" retirement solutions. It's a terrible trend I see in the industry. Financial salespeople often come knocking on the door looking to make a quick buck by selling an insurance or annuity product that is not necessarily in their best interests.
Some other crafty advisors are not so overt in their schemes, but I have seen all too many financial plans with exorbitantly high fees. It nags at me since these are some of my favorite clients and friends. I often think of my grandparents when I hear the horror stories of older adults being taken advantage of or abused.
I love helping, and want to do what I can here to help protect people.
The Pay-Gap and Longevity Risk
Another risk women face is not saving enough. Data shows that females are better savers than men, so that's not the issue. Women are also better investors than men – often more apt to set appropriate goals and work diligently to achieve them. So what's the issue? The pay gap and longevity risk.
We've all heard the stats that women make, on average, about 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. Women are already behind the eight-ball, thanks to biases and corporate culture in America. Hopefully, progress can be made here in the coming years. Americans have a hard enough time saving for retirement, but starting with that kind of structural disadvantage is very tough to overcome for women.
Source: Business Insider
Another risk is living for a long time. Women live about five years longer than men, on average. That's five more years that females have to plan. Creating and managing a financial plan for women is just different than doing so for men – there are more risks and possible outcomes.
So this is why my goal is to focus on retired women's situations since I feel that I can make a dramatic and positive impact on their lives.
Whether it is peace of mind knowing the important things are being handled and monitored, coordinating the tax planning, gifting strategies, or most importantly, planning, so they don't run out of money.
So if you or someone you know thinks this approach might be helpful, please reach out. I love helping.
Thanks for taking a look,
Source: USA Today
* Tom Gartner is not registered with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc.
This article represents opinions of the authors and not those of Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. and are subject to change from time to time, and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment or legal strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.