financial tips for women|
gender has an exclusive lock on money management skills, the financial deck is
stacked against women. They earn about three-quarters of what men make. In a divorce,
they get less of the assets and more of the children.
|Women have come a long way,
but the odds are stacked against them when it comes to
financial matters. Worse, many women view money and money-related
tasks as necessary evils, not opportunities to even the
odds. Following these strategies can help ensure prosperity.
live longer, and one in eight elderly women lives in poverty, compared to one
in 12 men, according to 2003 figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Unfortunately, many women view money and money-related
tasks as necessary evils, not opportunities to even the odds.
lot of women believe that wealth is a four-letter word," says Ginita Wall,
CPA and co-author of "It's More Than Your Money -- It's Your Life!"
"They are particularly afraid of the negative reputation that wealth has
-- power, greed, corrupt connotations."
are steps that a woman can take to improve her financial future:
Set a financial goal. Women "have a very complex relationship with
money," says Lois P. Frankel, author of "Nice Girls Don't Get Rich."
"As such, we don't think accumulated wealth is important. And what you focus
on is what you get."
After all, women set other goals.
"There's not a woman on the face of this earth who can't tell you what she
wants the scale to read when she gets on it."
But a woman
doesn't have a magic number in mind "in terms of what she's putting away
every year," says Frankel.
Train yourself to be financially independent. If you bank on Prince Charming,
you're in trouble. "All marriages end eventually, either through death or
divorce," says Wall. "And it's usually the woman left behind."
women are the ones who handle most of the day-to-day finances, the majority of
women leave long-term financial planning to their husbands. Mistake.
be aware of the finances, even if your husband is handling the money," says
Wall. "Be aware of what's happening. Stay involved."
agrees. "Go to the meetings with the financial planner, read through the
statements that come in." Get an idea of exactly how much is coming in, where
it's going and what the two of you are saving or investing for specific future
3. Buy your own
home. Women need to buy that first house as soon as they can, says Frankel.
"Too many women have this vision of Prince Charming carrying them over the
threshold," she says.
But a first house "will likely
be the best investment you make in your future," Frankel says.
4. Fund your
retirement account. For younger women, retirement seems eons
away. For those nearing retirement age, it seems impossible to catch
up. Investigate your employer's retirement plan, and put in as much
as you can -- especially if your company matches funds. "When
you don't participate in a matching program, you are giving away
free money," says Frankel.
Opt for long-term planning over crisis management. "Women, especially,
do not get serious about money until they lose a job, lose a spouse or are near
retirement," says Barbara Stanny, author of "Secrets of Six-Figure Women."
For her book, Stanny interviewed women earning between
$100,000 and $7 million annually. "The biggest surprise I had, bar none,
was how few of these women were wealthy," she says. Many of them were living
paycheck to paycheck, but at a higher level than their middle-income counterparts.