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Women have a long history of being personally involved in their families’ finances. MacroMonitor, a financial services research firm, has tracked a 20-year trend that shows women are now the primary financial decision-makers in the majority of households.
As this responsibility has grown, women have found it challenging to balance their long-term priorities like retirement with the day-to-day financial needs of their families. For a lot of women, that means their natural tendency to put others first is putting their own future’s security at risk.
A recent survey of women clearly illustrates their conflict over money matters. According to the survey, women’s top three financial priorities are:
—Not becoming a financial burden to loved ones
—Maintaining their lifestyle in retirement
—Making sure they don’t outlive their savings
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But their top three financial worries are:
—Saving for retirement
So while women know saving for retirement is important, it’s their families’ current financial state that keeps them up at night. That explains why even though 73% of women participate in a workplace retirement plan, 42% of them contribute less than 5% of their pay to those plans. They’re using their paychecks to pay the bills!
2 Steps That Will Solve 2 of Your Worries
How different would your life be if those top three worries were no longer an issue? It’s not impossible! Divert the time and energy you spend worrying about your expenses and your debt into these two simple but powerful steps that will resolve those concerns for good:
First, get a handle on your household expenses by getting your family on a budget. We’re all guilty of overspending here and there, and that adds up. When you give every dollar a name, you won’t have to wonder where all your money went—or how you’ll make it to your next payday.
Once you’ve taken control of your money, you can start paying off debt. That begins with a commitment to stop using debt—no more credit cards, car loans or home equity lines of credit. Then, throw all the extra money you can find at your smallest debt. When it’s paid off, roll that payment into the payment for your next highest balance. Keep it up until you’re debt-free!
With these two steps, you’ll knock out the two obstacles that are keeping you from saving for retirement. True, they will take time and some sacrifice, but it’s worth the effort to know you won’t have to rely on your family to support you once you retire.
Lack of Confidence
Women’s intuition is a powerful thing. From spotting a sick child from a mile away to knowing whom to trust with their deepest secrets, women have learned they can rely on their instincts. But, when it comes to retirement investing, women in the survey said they need to know more about their options so they can make better decisions. Only 5% said they are very knowledgeable about stocks, mutual funds and IRAs, while 45% said they are “not very” or “not at all” knowledgeable.
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The first rule of investing is to never put your money into something you don’t understand. So while it’s a wise move for women to stay conservative until they have a better understanding of their choices, they can’t low ball retirement savings forever.
That’s something most of the women in the study understood, since 63% said they need help catching up in many financial areas.
Want to Talk It Over?
The best way to learn more about retirement investing is to work with a trustworthy financial advisor. The survey shows that women prefer to collaborate on investing decisions, and the right advisor can do much more than recommend mutual funds.
An experienced advisor with the heart of a teacher can show you how you can meet your family’s financial needs and your long-term retirement goals at the same time. They’ll also explain all your retirement investing options so you never have to put your money into an investment that doesn’t make sense to you again.
The Right Advice Makes a Big Difference
Women in the survey found that working with an advisor changed their outlook on their future. They were twice as likely to say they were on track to meet their retirement goals, and they were more confident about maintaining their lifestyle and not outliving their retirement savings.
Two of the major reasons women in the survey said they didn’t already work with an advisor were the cost and the fact that they don’t have enough assets for a financial advisor to take their business. We can put you in touch with an experienced investing professional in your area who has earned Dave’s recommendation for providing excellent advice and superior service—no matter how much you do or do not have saved.
You can even set up a free consultation with your advisor so you can find out where you stand and what you need to do to reach all your financial goals. Stop worrying about how to catch up on your retirement and get in touch with your advisor today!