Pick the right planner
Finding a financial planner who understands your needs and with whom you feel comfortable is another key step. But research shows many women are having a tough time getting the right match.
Ettinger co-authored a report called "Women of Wealth: Why does the financial services industry still not hear them?" Sponsored by the Family Wealth Advisors Council, the 2011 study was based on a survey of 551 women from 44 states, all having a net worth of $1 million or more. Many of the respondents reported experiencing disrespect and condescension in the financial services industry, as well as receiving poor advice. While noting that 95 percent of high net worth women use financial advisers, the study's authors conclude that, overall, "women don't trust the financial services industry."
For the most part, women show no preference for working with female financial planners, according to that study. In fact, more than 90 percent of married and single women in the survey did not care whether their adviser was male or female. But 25 percent of widowed and divorced participants said they feel strongly about the gender of their adviser.
"Most preferred another woman, citing as reasons that women have better listening skills and can relate better to their situation," according to the report.