A 2013 Pew study shows that the number of families with female breadwinners increased from 11 percent in 1960 to 40 percent in 2011. The study also notes that when a woman is the primary breadwinner, the household is likely to have a higher income. Women make up just over half of the total population in Monroe County and while the earnings gap between men and women has narrowed, differences still remain. For instance, women generally have longevity on their side, but they may also have fewer years in the workforce and less time to focus on financial planning. So, it is important for women to take extra care in planning for their long-term financial security.
In my upcoming seminar, "Strong Women, Powerful Financial Strategies," on May 19, we'll take a look at how the following five steps affect women in every stage of life.
Defining your goals and dreams: Many women avoid financial planning because they don't know where to begin. Getting started can actually be the most enjoyable part because it means dreaming big! Once your dreams are clear, you can begin setting goals to reach them.
Understanding your current financial situation: Analyzing your financial situation can help you understand where you stand today and how much further you need to go to reach your goals. By working with a financial professional and regularly reviewing indicators, like net worth and cash flow, women can manage their assets and liabilities more efficiently and with fewer surprises along the way.
Building and protecting your wealth: I urge women to continuously build up their savings at all stages of their careers. For some women this might mean setting aside smaller amounts earlier in life. For others it may mean making larger contributions during their peak earning years. Maintaining a commitment to consistently pay yourself as well as sticking to an investment strategy designed to match your unique needs can help contribute to greater successes in building wealth.
Additionally, protecting your wealth through insurance coverage can help you stay on track and provide some extra breathing room during times of uncertainty.
Planning for retirement: Longer life expectancies for women mean they're at a greater risk of outliving their income, so it is especially important to develop a retirement withdrawal strategy that will provide the income necessary to sustain a longer retirement period, minimize the effects of taxes, and keep their investment allocation diversified and in line with their individual situation.
Leaving a legacy: Whether you intend to leave your legacy to your children and grandchildren or to a charity, creating a plan for how your assets will be divided allows you to retain control of these important decisions and helps ensure your wishes are honored. A great way to accomplish this is through estate planning.
At Council Rock Wealth Advisory Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., we are committed to providing personalized financial care for our clients. For more information, please join me for our complimentary seminar on May 19.
This Weeks Nextpert:
Mary Beth Fairchild, CFP®, CRPC®, APMA®, is a Financial Advisor with Council Rock Wealth Advisory Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc ., Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. She has been in practice for 20 years. She is located at 2280 East Avenue, Rochester, NY and can be contacted at www.ameripriseadvisors.com/maryxfairchild or at (585) 461-2280.