May 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
A study called Women, Money and Power, conducted over several years, examined women and investing with a particular view towards the kinds of educational material women like for financial concepts. Additional research provides some significant findings on the learning styles of men and women.
The Facts- I’m not addressing the sociological reasons for any of these issues because that’s not the point here. The point as I see it is that I meet women every day who face these facts every day. . The Earnings Gap-Women in the workforce earn on average 77 cents for every dollar men earn, which adds up to a LOSS of about $300,000 over a woman’s lifetime. Work Patterns- Nearly 24% of women work part time, are likely to spend 12 years out of the workforce and forego jobs with benefits for family responsibilities. As a consequence of the previous facts there are both retirement savings and a Social Security earnings gap that is concerning.
The Challenges– In addition to the financial data noted above, there are life events that are thrown in the mix: starting a business or new career, being part of The Sandwich Generation – meaning you have grown kids and aging parents to care for, as well as possible changes in martial status through divorce or widowhood. Another challenge is a gap in women’s financial literacy. When surveyed 90% of women feel that financially insecure. Many women have no idea where to start to figure out what they need for retirement savings. We also have been blessed with generally longer lives than men. So far, the facts add up generally to less money, longer lives and we a feeling of inadequacy to the financial task before us
What Women Want- Women want to know how, and where, to start. We want to learn in a pleasant and personal way. And we want to know how to invest for our age and our unique goals. We want an advisor, if we use one, who engages us as a coach, someone who will help when we have conflicts with our partner or roadblocks in communication. And we want to understand many aspects of our money including philanthropy, savings for our kids or grandkids, as well as investing for our future.
Be STRONG– We are women. Like men, we face hurdles. Everybody’s got something, pookie. Yeah, we want a great future but we are often passive and don’t advocate for our learning needs. We sometimes put up with poor information, over-our-head talk or crappy help.
Girl, you need to care enough about your own future to demand great help, advocate for clear understanding and make sure you do what needs to be done, and find tools or people to help you know what’s going on with all of your money. GI Joe was right. Knowing is half the battle. And as you know more you’ll develop the confidence you need for managing your financial future and to help you teach your daughters and sons about money.