Where men once dominated financial affairs, the growing presence of women in the workplace and as heads of household is introducing a paradigm shift. Women are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with as they take increasing responsibility for their long-term goals and financial health.

Women investors face special challenges that make financial literacy and advanced planning especially important. Women are more likely to outlive their husbands, or be disproportionately affected by a divorce, making long-term financial strategies especially critical.

This four part series was developed as a resource for women who are seeking guidance on how to take control of their financial lives. We hope that you will find it useful and we encourage you to take notes as you go along and write down any questions you may have. In this issue we start with the foundation of woman as investors.

Women face particular challenges in investing and financial planning. It’s important to acknowledge these challenges and explore them with your family and trusted financial professional. Determining the right solutions to your particular financial situation is critical to developing a long-term strategy and pursuing a comfortable, secure retirement.
While every woman and every family is different, research shows that American women face many challenges and this first challenge is particularly difficult:
Women Are More Likely to Outlive Their Husbands

Based on what research has found about life expectancies, on average, women outlive men. Losing a spouse is heart wrenching, and in a family where the husband managed the finances, a widow may need to quickly take control of family finances. Without planning, this transition can add to an already stressful situation and lead to costly errors.

Families can prepare for this eventuality by ensuring that both spouses are involved in managing family finances. However, research shows us that many women are not as involved in their financial planning as they should be. A 2011 report released by HSBC showed that many women are not prepared for retirement; just 24% of women in their fifties claimed to have a financial plan in place.

The same report found the following:
[1] – 65% of men make all or most of their household’s financial decisions without input from wives or other family members.
[2] – 4 in 10 men claim sole decision-making responsibility in retirement planning, compared to 25% of women.

Lack of involvement in financial affairs can put women in a highly vulnerable position should anything happen to their husbands.


[1] Men Still Take the Lead in Retirement Planning: Survey; Investment Executive. 2011. http://www.investmentexecutive.com/-/men-still-take-the-lead-in-retirement-planning-survey

[2] Men Still Take the Lead in Retirement Planning: Survey; Investment Executive. 2011. http://www.investmentexecutive.com/-/men-still-take-the-lead-in-retirement-planning-survey

Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation.(NPC) Member FINRA, SIPC, and a Registered Investment Advisor. Trilogy Financial Services and NPC are separate and unrelated Entities.


About Your Columnist

Windus Fernandez Brinkkord is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers the intersection of women in business and managing their investments and taking charge of their financial future. Currently, Windus is Senior Vice President of Investments with Trilogy Financial Services, a financial services company that focuses on helping business owners and individuals build and manage wealth.

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