VIEWPOINT: Women: Take charge of your financial future
Women are coming into more money than ever before. The time for women to get a handle on their finances is now. In less than 10 years, women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers will possess. They are also more likely to have sole responsibility for that wealth at some point.
The time for women to build their financial knowledge and decision-making skills is now.
Women are earning and inheriting more financially than past generations yet are still often intimidated by or excluded from financial conversations. We owe it to ourselves and future generations of women to take a more active and assertive role in investment planning and decision-making.
Here is some advice to help women get started.
- Invite yourself to the planning table. Studies show that women are outliving men, making them the solely responsible for all financial decision-making at some juncture. The time to start planning is now before it’s too late. Start an open dialog with your husband or partner about your current and future finances. Then schedule time to get to know your financial advisor together. By establishing a relationship and open lines of communication now, you will feel more comfortable asking questions and advocating for the future you desire. Don’t stop at one call or meeting either. You’ve invited yourself to the table; now keep your seat.
- Understand and set goals for your future. Everyone has different investment goals. Men often want to attain a certain portfolio mix or dollar figure. Women more frequently wish to set goals centered around generations of their family, societal impact, or community legacy. Women are very much big picture. They think about goals and wants. They’ll say, “I just want my kids to be happy.” Men are more about the bottom line. Start by aligning on a clear picture of your core values. Then set goals that will help you achieve your long-term dreams for the future.
- Take charge of your financial education. Knowledge is power. Deliberately set time aside to strengthen your financial understanding. Take one topic at a time like starting a family, paying for college, or investing in your values. Then find the resources to support it so you aren’t overwhelmed. One of my favorite Truist articles to get clients started on is “Investing jargon, explained.” It breaks down over a dozen terms you might hear. We also launched a new podcast called “I’ve Been Meaning to Do That.” It’s moderated by Truist Wealth co-Chief Investment Officer Oscarlyn Elder, who shares her advice on smart financial planning, purpose, and values-based goal setting.
- Find a financial advisor you can trust. It’s telling that 70% of women change advisors within a year after their spouse or partner dies. It’s important to find an advisor you can trust and who understands your needs. Since women tend to invest differently, it’s helpful to look for someone who has a values-based approach. That way, you can be better supported at all stages of your life.
Marisa Facciolo is a senior wealth advisor and managing director at Truist Wealth.
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