Women and Money |Women and Retirement Planning
Financial planning is crucial whether you are rich, poor, young or old. Like men, women also have to budget their income, look at family's mid and long-term security and the need to plan and invest for their retirement.
Financially Independent Woman
Why should women be more financially independent?
There are several reasons why they should be and why they should start financial planning now.
Financial Security for Women
Women must be financially independent irrespective of their marital status or situation in life. They should not depend on their husbands or partners in their lives to give them the financial security. They can make financial decisions and can decide their own financial destiny.
Women Live Longer
Women live longer than men and that has been proven statistically. Therefore, if you live longer, then you have to save more! However, on average women tend to be less prepared and usually end up poorer in retirement. They could also outlive their retirement savings.
One of the reasons could be because they earn less and hence, save less. This means less pension benefits and savings for retirement. If they plan now, women do not need to compromise on their lifestyle, should they outlive their partners.
Women may be too cautious in their investment options. They are afraid when making financial decisions. These are also common in men, so women should not feel intimidated with money management. If there is proper planning, money issues can usually be solved.
Women as well as men do not have a proper understanding of their personal finances and do not like to do it because they feel uncomfortable with the financial concepts. However, getting yourself educated on issues like diversifying your investments to spread risk and investing over the long term are some simple and good concepts to start with. The more you apply those concepts the easier it becomes.
Consider the cost associated with the following items when you plan for your retirement days:
- Home: Where will you stay? Will you be staying in the same house or will be moving to a new house same location, or in different location?
- Food: Will you be eating out or entertaining more family members?
- Transportation: Will you be driving your own car or use public transportation?
- Health Care: How is your medical insurance and how will you pay for medical bills?
- Personal Needs: What will be the cost of your clothing, personal care, recreations, hobbies, entertainment and health & fitness regime?
- Travel: Will you be doing more travelling?
Women Money Management - Retirement Financial Planning for Women
Make Money Work for You
If you delay and procrastinate, this could be your biggest investment mistake. The result depends on how soon you start, how much you save and how you save it. There are just as many successful women investors as men. So why wait?
Follow these few simple rules to make money work for you:
1. Setting Financial Goals
The way to create a plan is to know what you want to achieve first.
Ask yourself what you want from your money. Is it for a down payment on your house, a new car or your children’s education? Once you know what you want you can then work out what you need to get there.
Knowing your ultimate goal helps to give you enough perspective to distance yourself from individual investments. It is also easier for you not to get too emotional or attached to your investments.
Learn Financial Planning Here
Retirement Plan Should be Your Priority
When you choose your new employer, choose a company that offer good retirement plan, even if the salary is slightly lower
2. Learn About Financial Planning
Read and understand as much as you can about the various types of investments. How can they fit into your plan? Overcome the psychological hurdle that women cannot handle money by getting as much information as you can.
Read the newspapers, financial journals and attend investment seminars. See how others do it. Learn how to apply for your social security benefits. The first time is always difficult but once you understand the concepts, the pieces will fall into place.
3. Be Motivated
When you realize how little savings you will have for your retirement, or to achieve your life goals, you will be motivated to do something. Focus on your retirement or look at your friends or their mothers who have to cope with devastating financial issues when their fathers or spouses die or when they divorce or lose their jobs.
At one point in their lives, women will have to face the fact that there is no one else to handle their finances for them. Why wait until then to embrace your financial responsibilities? Start now and make your move cautiously ─ it will pay off in the end.
We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.— Les Brown author of It's Not Over Until You Win!
4. Invest Your Own Money
Not many people are that interested in investing. If you leave it to your men, you will probably have no idea where it is invested. Make it a point to invest your own money. You tend to be interested if your own money is at stake. You are in control of your money and if you do make a mistake you take the blame and learn from it.
A good way to ensure that you have just as many gainers as losers is to maintain a diversified portfolio and stay focused. Start with a small portfolio of basic investments like stocks or unit trust funds, bond funds and cash.
You can venture into other types of investments as you improve in the game. As you progress you can modify and adjust your portfolio to suit your changing needs.
5. Do it on a Regular Basis
Make investing a part of your regular routine. Be levelheaded when you invest; do not jump in and invest blindly, nor should you sit and wait for that “perfect” investment to appear before you invest. It may never appear.
Generally, investing on a regular basis is likely to yield better returns compared to a one-off lump sum investment. Take advantage of the dollar-cost averaging concept.
Move cautiously and speculate less. Invest more in unit trusts, as individual investors generally do not have the resources to make brilliant stock picks. Put your money in and be patient; do not look at it every day and expect it to grow immediately. Leave it for the long term.
Trivial & Sexist
Quote that I had seen, advertised:
"A Man is Not a Financial Plan"
Get Financial Advice
If you do not have the time, cannot get the hang of it or just want a second opinion, then get a qualified financial help. Good financial planners usually have extensive capabilities. They can help steer you on the right course. A good and reliable financial planner should:
- Help you to identify your problems and goals;
- Develop a financial plan to help you reach those goals;
- Help you understand the risks associated with investing;
- Provide advice on investments: and
- Periodically review your financial plan with you.
Why Women Should Plan for Retirement
Get the Right Financial Planner
Finding the right financial planner is no easy task. You need someone who can understand your needs and goals. Select a planner that you feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
Ask yourself what you expect him to do for you. Do you want to include him in every decision that you make or do you just want someone to help you set up the plan and you work the rest out yourself? Check his credentials ─ does he have the adequate skills and qualifications, a good track record and reputation?
By asking these questions, you can narrow down the type of financial planner and the services that you require. Once you have found the right planner, make him an important part of your financial life.
Take Control and Be a Strong Independent Woman
Despite the many setbacks that you may have, be comforted by the fact that there are many successful women around the world who have done very well for themselves, financially. You can either do nothing and suffer the consequences or take control and join the list of successful women.
At the end of the day, it is better to have done something rather than go through life regretting not having done it at all.
© 2012 Mazlan
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