By Cristin Rigg, CFP®, CDFA™
More often than not, women with families take the lead when it comes to running their households and focusing on tasks such as home upkeep, managing schedules and children, and tracking bills and sending payments. However, studies reveal that many women with families are less involved when it comes to making longer-term financial plans within their family setting.¹
Harris Financial Advisors believes there’s a better strategy to ensure a family’s long-term financial health: engaging women at every step of the way so they can fully understand and participate in all aspects of family finances.
Why should women empower themselves to learn more about their family’s financial landscape? Experts offer several reasons for women to be involved in comprehensive family financial planning²:
Different members in a family often have different money management styles. Most advisors recommend that women make financial plans and decisions with a support team in place – through ongoing conversations with a spouse or other family members, as well as financial professionals – to better represent varying views about financial priorities and decisions that often exist among families.
The increased participation of women in the workforce shows no sign of slowing down. This means women will need to make informed decisions about their finances as they age – including when and how to use Social Security benefits and other retirement savings they have accrued, and how best to manage those savings.
Women tend to live longer than their male partners. Given this reality, as well as the fact that women continue to face earnings gaps due to pay inequity and a higher frequency of entering and leaving the workforce, women need to make retirement savings a priority for themselves and their families. Developing solid saving and investing plans is key to safeguarding financial stability as women age.
However, women with families should not shoulder the task of financial planning alone. A key step in empowering women in family money matters is helping them develop strategies to discuss saving and spending patterns with their partners and other family members, and encouraging them to delegate responsibility for those fiscal plans. Women also should schedule regular meetings with a financial advisor to assess and update their longer-term family financial landscape, especially as it changes and evolves.
Beyond tracking and paying bills, women with families should be active and informed participants in all aspects of financial plans including³:
√ Estate planning
√ Retirement planning
√ Investment portfolio(s)
√ Education costs
√ Cash flow and debt management
√ Life and other insurance policies
As women in the 21st century continue to lead in the workplace and at home, it’s important for them to be well-versed in ways to help them securely meet their long-term life and financial goals. One of Harris Financial Advisors’ unwavering fundamental principles has been to support women who want to be financially knowledgeable and successful; everyone benefits when women play an equal role in family financial planning. That belief continues to guide us in our work today.
1. Barrington, Richard. Forbes Magazine, “Why Mothers Should Play a Bigger Role in Family Finances” April 15, 2013. https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2013/04/15/why-mothers-should-play-a-bigger-role-an-family-finances/#76ee18bb7be3
2. Schwab-Pomerantz, Carrie. Ask Carrie; Charles Schwab, “Women and Money: Why It’s Important to Control Your Finances” March 5, 2018. https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/women-and-money-why-its-important-to-take-control-your-finances
3. Snider, Susannah. U.S. News and World Report, “How to be the CFO of Your Financial Household” May 3, 2018. https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/2018-05-03/how-to-be-the-cfo-of-your-financial-household