Balanced Money | Balanced Life
Whether you're a single woman, the CFO of your family or you just want to learn more about your money, you deserve an environment that will encourage you to embrace your financial life before an unexpected event occurs.
I have greatly enjoyed helping my female clients design a plan that will safeguard their lifestyle and pursue their goals. As a result I have made helping them a focus in my practice.
Are you fully aware of your family’s finances or have you consistently deferred that responsibility to your husband or significant other? My wife and I split responsibilities and I know how easy it is to be blissfully ignorant to her side of our affairs.
Maybe you’ve tried but you been less than pleased with the manner in which your financial advisor has treated you? Perhaps in frustration and/or boredom you decided to just remove yourself from that picture altogether and just let your partner deal with it?
When it comes to your finances it is very important that you have an understanding of what is going on. I have seen too many cases in which the financial partner dies or becomes incapacitated and leaves a grieving spouse that doesn’t know what advice to trust or how to proceed.
Research suggests women worry more about their financial health but lag in decision-making and self-confidence:
This difference in self-confidence has an enormous impact on the financial planning industry.
A LPL Financial "Women Invest White Paper " survey shows that 67% women want an equal role in financial decision making and only approximately 20% want their husbands to make all the decisions. Yet, data shows less than two-thirds of women actually attain an equal role in financial decision-making (note: financial decision-making here refers to "big ticket item decisions," not grocery shopping level daily or weekly decisions).
Eliminating anxiety around money starts with getting informed and choosing to take part in understanding the family finances.
Studies have consistently concluded that women are better investors than men.
See: The Women are Smarter
They place more emphasis on planning and take fewer risks. Women recognize, it’s about more than money and investments. Yet, money and investments are all most financial advisors are really interested in.
Maybe you’re transitioning into retirement or you are recently divorced or widowed and you don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you have simply come on your own to build your life and perhaps a business and now have the confidence and realize the need and desire to manage your financial well being.
I can help you become aware of your options and help you take control of your finances and your future.
Women today have control over more assets than men do. In general this can be attributed to their longer life expectancy but they are quickly catching up in the workplace as well.
Prefer a holistic approach to financial planning that ties all the pieces of our financial life together?
As women, it’s important to not only be educated, but to also work with people who understand and respect you. You work hard, you do what you can to ensure that all is taken care of, you do it well and with great consideration of others.
An ideal advisor will listen to both women and men - regardless of the gender of the financial decision-maker - and will avoid being patronizing toward both women and men if they lack financial understanding.
When I met Kate, she was having some issues paying her bills. Kate was 68, and taking care of her husband Ed who had contracted Alzheimer’s several years back. Ed had taken responsibility of the bills over the years and was incapable of teaching Kate how he had been managing their affairs in the past. Kate had never been taught about money and how to manage it.
Their broker was in New York and specialized in bringing investment ideas to his clients. Kate was not equipped to make decisions on his recommendations so he stopped calling and the portfolio sat dormant. They had always entrusted their CPA with matters but he was now half retired. He had suggested a “safe” portfolio of fixed income but the yields had been steadily declining over the past several years. She was told she should never invade principal so had been accruing credit card debt to make ends meet.
Kate needed help and found me through her CPA. We started with a dialogue where I listened to her story and concerns. Kate had learned a lot of concepts over the past couple of years and had a lot of good ideas. I asked her to put products and strategies on hold until we better understood what was most important to her.
We discussed her values and goals and sorted through those issues with which she had the greatest control. Upon reflection we found that in addition to income needs she had a passion for her church, a desire to educate her grandchildren, and some estate planning considerations. We prioritized her objectives and developed each one in terms of being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-driven. I took her financial data and goals and stress tested them both in light of what she desired and what she would accept.
We discovered that Kate had the financial capacity to achieve most of her desired goals but we would have to restructure her portfolio to better align with her objectives. We kept a similar risk profile but placed a greater focus on total return and greater diversification.
After consultation with her CPA – a portion of her new income stream incorporated a more efficient use of gifting to her church and providing funding for an education trust for her grandchildren. We paid off her credit card and continue to monitor her plan both in light of investment performance and her current positioning on the roadmap we have created.
We additionally referred her to a dementia support group that is working with Ed to see if they can help improve or at least stabilize his quality of life.