When the topic of money or investments comes up with my female friends or clients, I often hear:
- “I don’t know anything about this stuff,”
- “This is all way over my head,” and
- “My husband takes care of all that.”
Why is this? Is this how you feel about your finances?
I have learned some staggering facts throughout my 13 years in a predominately male financial industry, that I want to share with you:
Did you know?
- Women are extremely underserved by financial professionals, and as a result,
A man is 2x more likely to be approached by a financial advisor than a woman!
- 12: the average number of years a woman will spend out of the workforce throughout her life to care for loved ones (children, aging parents, or a spouse).
- $1,055,000 – the shortfall in accumulated income that those 12 years out of the workforce cost us, compared to our male counterparts who continue working steadily.
- 10-15: the number of years that a woman can be expected to outlive her spouse. This means it’s likely that most of us will be the sole decision-maker in our households, at some point in our lives.
So, in a nutshell:
- Firstly, we make less,
- Secondly, we live longer,
- We often shy away from the management of our investments, and
- Finally, at some point in our lives, we will be solely responsible for our finances (whether we are prepared for it or not).
As women, we have the intellectual capabilities to make good financial decisions however, sometimes we lack the confidence to do so.
Don’t you think we owe it to ourselves to be at least partially involved in something that has such profound effects on our life?
Healthy finances are crucial to our wellbeing and our family’s future so being ‘in the know’ in some form, even if you are not the main person managing your household’s money, is essential!
Come on, you can do this and you definitely deserve to feel confident and empowered.
5 Easy Steps for You to be More Engaged in your Family’s Money & Savings:
- Start asking questions. If you have an advisor, attend meetings at least once a year, if not all of them, and speak up! This should be a comfortable relationship, where you can learn, ask questions and provide your thoughts and feedback … therefore there are no dumb questions!
- Have REAL conversations about money with your spouse/partner. Some questions to get you started:
How much income is coming into the household and how much are your family expenses (do they balance)?
What assets and debts do you have?
Do you and your partner have life insurance? Is it enough?
Do you have a will?
Are you both working towards the same aspirations for your future?
- Are you taking time off from the workplace to care for your family? If you are, try to find creative ways to be involved, earn income, or even just keep a network of colleagues. As a result, if you want to or need to step back into the workforce down the road, you have the option to do so.
- Set short and long-term goals and then layout details about how you are going to achieve them. These goals will form the basis of your financial plan. Finally, talk to your financial advisor so that you ensure you are on the right path.
As an example: do you want to save for a child’s education? Take annual family trips? Start a business? Be debt free in x years?
- Read The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton; this book is a great place to start. I have read this a few times and recommend everyone have a read!
Whether you’re the Kitchen Table CEO, CFO or just starting out, it’s important that every woman take the time to develop an understanding of their money, think about their goals for the future, and implement a plan to make those dreams a reality.
Invest in yourself because you are so worth it!
Samantha Seaman is a Portfolio Manager with Braestone Family Wealth. Alongside her team, she looks after the investments and financial needs of more than 250 families in the Newmarket area. Samantha is committed to building relationships that span multiple generations and believes that the more people we can support in building a solid financial foundation, the better our community will be. Outside of work, Samantha, her husband Andrew, and their two-year old son, Cooper, are always happiest near the water. Samantha’s beverage of choice for her busy ‘CEO’ days: A warm London Fog from Tim’s 😃
This information has been prepared by Samantha Seaman CIM®, who is a Portfolio Manager for HollisWealth®. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the Portfolio Manager only and do not necessarily reflect those of HollisWealth. HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.