Women's Equality Day: Why Women, Too, Need to Pay Attention to Their Finances
Studies show women are procuring more wealth overall
On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote. On this day each year, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, recognizing not only women’s right to vote, but continued accomplishments and the progress that is still being made. We use it to shine a light on our advancements with respect to equal opportunities in numerous areas, including wealth.
Studies show women are procuring more wealth overall. Reports add women are expected to hold 32 percent of all private wealth by 2020, up from 30 percent just three years ago. Furthermore, over the next five years, women’s wealth is expected to grow 8 percent faster than that of men’s.
What’s more – Women in the U.S. are outliving their male spouses, thus making it only more important that women are aware of their finances. Women who find themselves as the lone manager of their finances tend to be in a much better position if they were an equal partner in managing their family finances.
In addition, some women find themselves providing informal care and support as spouses, parents and in-laws start to age. Reasons such as this one make it even more critical for women to be at the forefront of understanding the intricacies of managing finances, particularly in the event of an emergency.
As women who realize the importance of being solo and independent, or standing alongside your spouse or partner when it comes to finances, here are key steps to solidify your understanding:
- UNDERSTAND YOUR CASH FLOW
The most basic thing everyone should know is what is coming in versus what is going out. There are various apps and platforms, like Mint.com, that can help you understand your income and subsequent spending habits. Make a list of incoming money from salaries to real estate and personal investments, and then compare that to your budget of outflows for monthly living.
- CONSIDER YOUR SAVINGS GOALS
Think about you and your partner’s or spouse’s retirement savings target, your potential need to save for a child’s education and future health-care expenses as you age. Factor that savings into your budget sooner than later and stick to it. Consult a financial advisor if you have questions on how to best adjust your budget.
- THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN INVESTMENTS
While developing a shared household budget is a priority for some and not others, research still suggests that, particularly as a woman, having your own investment accounts can be hugely empowering and, as a result, possibly even strengthen your marriage.
Though historically women might have been less involved in financial decision making, women today continue to blaze new trails with increased financial knowledge and independence. Women have become even more proactive when it comes to their financial well-being and are truly owning their own financial realities.
Shelley Ford is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Denver. She can be reached at Shelley.Ford@morganstanley.com or 303-572-4839.