Prioritize your goals
Heather Ettinger, managing partner of Fairport Asset Management in Cleveland, says the challenge of time management has the biggest impact on women's financial planning.
"There's a great cartoon out there that says if you want to understand a woman's mind, imagine 280,000 apps open at the same time, all the time," Ettinger says. "We've got all these competing priorities."
Risi notes that whenever Vanguard presents educational webcasts on personal finance topics, men in the audience tend to be most interested in tips on how to capitalize on market trends and what kinds of stocks to buy. Women ask questions about how to balance the goals of sending kids to college, retiring comfortably and caring for elderly parents.
"Men are often either less inclined to think that way or less likely to be thrust into that decision-making role," Risi says.
During a recent Vanguard-sponsored webcast on women and investing, Risi and other participating advisers agreed that meeting competing financial needs is one of the biggest challenges for women.
The first step in a successful financial plan is to decide what's most important on your financial to-do list.