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How to Strengthen the Union Between Women and Financial Planning

It’s not something married women want to think about—the prospect of losing a husband, whether to divorce or death. But, as statistics bear out, the prospect is very real. Up to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce—the stats are even higher for second marriages—and women outlive men by an average five to six years.

Yet, a recent study by financial services company UBS found a disconnect between married women and financial planning. More than 50 percent of married women don’t take an active part in their family’s long-term financial plan, leaving decisions to their spouse. What may be even more surprising is that more than 80 percent of women and men aren’t concerned by women’s lack of financial planning participation. And, this isn’t a phenomenon among just older generations—61 percent of millennial women also take a back seat to their husband when it comes to investment and long-term financial planning.

Why women hand over the financial planning keys

So why is it that the link between women and financial planning is weak? While most women handle day-to-day finances and make many of the purchasing decisions, they don’t necessarily feel as confident making the long-term decision, according to the UBS survey. Many said they were simply not interested, and others thought their husbands were more knowledgeable about investing.

These beliefs are unsubstantiated. In fact, it’s been proven that   because they are more likely to buy and hold and ask for help.

Plus, their already divorced and widowed counterparts have a word of advice—take an interest now before it’s too late. Sixty percent of women taking the financial journey alone wish they would have shared financial planning with their spouse. Why do they feel financial literacy for women is so important? More than 50 percent of them report being left with debt they didn’t know about, not enough savings or investing strategies that didn’t meet their long-term goals.

Boosting financial literacy for women

If you are among the half of married women who don’t take part in financial planning, now is the perfect time to start! How? First, understand that you don’t need to be a finance expert, you only need a willingness to learn. Also, you need to understand your short-term goals, as well as those for retirement. Here’s how to get started:

  • Take time to think through what the rest of your life may look like. If you have enough money, what would you do with it? Travel? Give some to charity? When it’s time to reflect back on life, what do you want that picture to look like?
  • Make sure you’re saving enough. Experts agree that 15 percent to 20 percent of your income should be saved and invested. If you can’t do that much, do the best you can. With the help of a financial planner, you can get a snapshot of whether all your investments, plus any future income including Social Security, will be enough to get you through retirement.
  • Understand that investing comes with some risk. After all, markets can be volatile at times. But, history has shown that it’s the best vehicle for long-term financial growth.
  • If you don’t have a financial advisor, find one. And, make sure they get to know you and your spouse. At Windward Wealth Management, we take a holistic view of all of your finances to set you on a path to financial security.

We specialize in helping women

The National Center for Women and Retirement Research says 90 percent of all women will be in charge of their financial decisions at some point in their lives. We can help you prepare. Let’s get started today! Contact us or call (920) 230-2215 for a consultation.