Financial Planning for Women: the challenges and solutions

During an article published in May 2014, Forbes Magazine asked the question, “Where are all the women financial planners?”northwood-womens-finance

Reflecting on the number of Financial Planning Conferences which I attend, I can best describe the financial planning industry as pale, male and old. Typically, the only women present at these conferences are often the waitresses. In this male-dominated industry, there has been very little transformation across gender roles, and even less so across cultural lines.

When joint financial planning happens with couples, more often than not the assumptions are, that:

  • They will both die on the same day
  • They will both be in perfect health until the day that they die
  • The relationship will last forever, and that divorce does not exist
  • Men and women have the same earnings capabilities, when in actual fact, men earn higher salaries

Often the focus is on career development of one partner and not the other.

Roughly six years ago, Mrs Smith became a widow. About a year after her partner had died, she was brought to my office for assistance. In the period following her husband’s death, she had not opened one single item of mail, and I was handed two shopping bags of unopened envelopes. Among other important documents, the death claims had not been submitted, and the Executor was still waiting to receive the most basic document to begin processing the estate. As a bank was responsible for the proceedings, there was no particular understanding of the emotional devastation that the widow was experiencing. She was just another number of the hundreds of windows that they were trying to process.

My challenge is that:

  • Women tend to outlive men
  • Decisions are often made by men rather than women
  • Many women do not know if their spouses have put proper plans in place to protect their families
  • As women put their careers on hold to raise families, their income is often lower than that of men
  • Rates of cancer claims are higher for women, yet often assumptions are made that only their spouses are at risk

Northwood Financial Services cc offers specialised financial planning for women. We take into account the number of challenges that women face; from disparities in salaries, to careers put on hold, and outliving the breadwinner partner; when advising financial planning strategies. If you are seeking a sound financial planner that takes into account the aspects mentioned in this article, contact Northwood Financial Services cc today.

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