By Kristi De Rycke, Registered Assistant
- You don't have time. You may be a working mother trying to juggle everything and just are too busy right now. You may be a single mother with very little to no spare time. It can wait.
- You are too busy taking care of other people. Women are groomed to be caring and put other people’s needs before their own.
- Financial planning is something men are supposed to do. Everyone knows that they are more capable in the areas of math, science and investing.
- Women are not supposed to talk about money. It is impolite and rude. We have manners!
- Money is the root of all evil. This goes against religion for some and our reputation as a woman for all.
If you are reading this and shaking your head yes then don’t read anything else that is ever written here. If this article made you angry, then you are in the right place. I was able to easily write out all of these reasons that I shouldn’t take control of my finances because there is a little voice inside my head (like there is in most women’s heads) that say these on a regular basis. Since I have started to write about personal finance, they have come out of hibernation and started shouting at me again. I have to remind myself daily to quiet them. I am one of 3 daughters and we were not raised to ignore our financial futures or let someone else control it. I remember several conversations with the same message of "women can do whatever men can do." (Probably while we were cutting wood for the winter as a motivator to finish). Somehow we can still hear the message “Women are not good with money” even with a healthy upbringing.
So I think we should start over...
Why Women Should Take Control Of Their Financial Future
By Kristi De Rycke, Registered Assistant
- You don’t have time. The truth is, you have a lot more time than most men. Statistically you will outlive most men. You will need to save and invest more to be able to take care of your financial needs for more years if you live longer.
- You are too busy taking care of other people. You are a caretaker. What happens if you die early, do you have things in place to take care of your kids. If your kids are independent adults, do you want to have to move in with them? Then they would have to take care of you while taking care of their own children.
- Financial planning is something men are supposed to do. Why? What if you never marry? What if you are widowed young? Are you going to have to find someone to marry you just to continue to live the life you are living? What if your husband isn’t good at money management?
- Women do not talk about money. Women need to talk about money! This works out very conveniently for employers. Women are less pushy about negotiating for pay initially and future raises. I have to admit that I actually didn’t think the gender gap was real. I had a family member that was thinking of going into Occupational Therapy and was debating if she wanted to go for her master’s which is required. She wasn’t sure the cost of 2 extra years of school would pay off. I asked one of my co-workers who had recently started how much the average starting pay would be coming out of OT school. I specified to him that I didn’t want to know what he was paid but just a general number. His answer “Do you mean a male or a female starting salary”? I nearly fell over! He explained that they were told in school that men generally make $2000 more than women in a healthcare field that does not have physical demands that would require more strength! According to The Gender Wage Gap: 2018 Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity on the webpage Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women make 81.1% of what men make. That means that women only make roughly $.80 for every dollar a man makes. We need to be talking about ideas on saving and investing for our futures as we have less of it to start with.
- Money is the root of all evil. What if you saved more money, invested your money to grow better and had a larger sum of money to donate to your favorite charity? What if you set up your finances so well young, that you could retire early and volunteer full time for a great charity while you are young and fit? How do you find evil in that?
Here are some additional reasons.
- We take time out of our work to have families. We may have months off for one or more maternity leaves. We sometimes make the choice to take time out of our careers to spend more time with our families.
- We may move to more flexible jobs with less pay to spend more time with family.
- We may choose not to go for a promotion to be more available to our family.
- Women invest less. Women invest significantly less than men. When they do they keep a full 71% in cash vs. 60% for men. This difference can cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars at retirement. Want to learn more read money.com/money/5141680/investing-finance-gender-gap-pay-inequality.
Now the same holds true for women as men! Greg always says that to be able to actually invest on your own you need time, expertise and desire. Taking control of your own financial future does not mean you have to make all of your financial decisions or actual trading alone. It means that you have to be making sure that you are on track for your goals. You may not want to spend your time on choosing accounts and monitoring them. You may not want to read a lot on how to properly invest. That is totally fine! You only need to gather your statements and call an advisor. You are responsible only for making sure your financial ship is in good shape. It doesn’t matter how you do it.
By Greg Johnson
Kristi is spot on with her thoughts. There should be no gender gap when it comes to planning for your financial futures. Women need to take charge of their financial lives today more than ever. Most small businesses are owned by women and most of the wealth in this country is owned by women. There are no reasons good enough for females not to take control of their own financial lives and their family’s finances. An interesting story I heard a few years back said that most women who have lost their husbands will change advisors within a year of their spouse dying. When asked why, they said their current advisor didn’t pay any attention to them during their relationship. If you are feeling that same frustration, I would encourage you to start looking for someone new today. I always try to include both spouses in our discussions and get their true opinion on matters. We often find significant differences so making sure we are all on the same page can be extremely important. Take the time to make sure your family and your own finances are in good order and work with an advisor that can help you achieve your goals.