Women and Wealth: Taking Charge of Financial Hurdles

We’re often told to “prepare for the unpredictable.” Which really sounds like an oxymoron – how can you prepare for something that you never expected? But women, especially, need to prepare for life’s surprises, since studies have shown that they face unique hurdles.

Women are impacted financially by longer life spans, greater healthcare costs, lower potential lifetime earnings, financial setbacks due to divorce, becoming a widow, or taking time off to raise a family, and they tend to have a lower tolerance for risk.

Females also face a phenomenon called “the confidence gap.” Recent studies revealed numerous instances in which a lack of confidence has created unique obstacles for the gender. The findings show that men initiate salary negotiations four times as often as women do; women only apply for a promotion if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications, while men apply if they meet 60 percent of the job requirements; and when women do ask for a raise, they tend to ask for 30 percent less money than men do.

CJM Wealth Management recently hosted its second Annual Women’s Only Luncheon – where we discussed many of these issues impacting women today, as well as the changing landscape of wealth. Outlined below are some key takeaways that were revealed to help empower women to take control of their finances, and prepare for the unexpected.

  1. Manage Your Emotions. Money is emotional. It’s important to focus on what you can control – like an investment plan that fits your unique goals and risk tolerance, and staying disciplined through market ups and downs. This type of discipline can be difficult for many people, which is why it’s often beneficial to partner with an advisor that can help manage your emotions surrounding your hard-earned money, especially during volatile markets.
  2. Take Inventory. Knowing where your important documents are located, usernames and passwords, and contact information for your professional advisors can help you and your loved ones stay organized in the event of an unexpected event.
  3. Take an Active Interest. Finance is certainly not for everyone, but it’s important to take an active interest in planning for your future. Meet with your financial advisor on a regular basis to discuss your goals and review your tolerance for risk. Read news articles, or dive into a good book about wealth management. Make it a point to learn specific financial terms that perhaps you don’t currently understand. Talk with a trusted professional, or use DFA’s retirement income calculator to find out how much money you will need to retire comfortably.
  4. Create a Solid Support Team. A support team can include your friends and family – but should also include professional support. Allowing your financial advisor, estate planning attorney, CPA, and other trusted advisors to work as part of a team on your behalf is a great way to prepare for the unexpected.
  5. Take Control. According to a report from the Federal Reserve, 4 in 10 adults surveyed said they would have difficulty covering a $400 unexpected expense. Don’t wait until an emergency arises. It can sound daunting, but simple steps like organizing your files, creating a budget, checking your credit score, or reviewing your accounts regularly for fraudulent activity, can help you take charge of your finances.

Women make up 47% of the labor force, and 12.3 million businesses are owned by women; they are a growing force in the changing landscape of wealth. Our goal at CJM Wealth Management is to partner with our clients in order to show them exactly how to prepare for the unexpected – together.

If you have any questions regarding CJM’s philosophy, or would like to schedule a complimentary call to discuss your financial future, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 631.777.1030 or at info@cjmwealth.com.

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