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Do Women Need Special Strategies for Money Management?

Do Women Need Special Strategies for Money Management?

Money Magazine convened a panel at the 2015 Financial Planner Association conference to explore the question “Should Men and Women Manage Money Differently?” The experts did not all agree to whether or not men and women should manage money differently but they did agree that men and women tend to differ in their approach to money management.

The panel discussed some ideas you may have heard before: women are not actually “bad” at investing or financial planning but just tend to be less confident in their decisions; women who are part of a couple need to be involved in family finances.

But this panel also discussed some things that are not necessarily part of conventional wisdom. For example: While publishing studies from major investment firms find that women put more money into retirement accounts at work, one expert felt these conclusions may make us overconfident in women’s tendency to save. This person found “…men in their twenties and thirties tend to save and not spend, while women in that age group spend and don’t save. That flips in their forties and fifties— men start spending, and women start saving more. But at that point women have missed that compounding boat.”

Another issue this panel covered was retirement planning. If you are of a part of a couple, you do need to look at how and when you will retire but “…married couples have to do Social Security planning both as a couple and as individuals. Make sure you talk to a planner who has that expertise, because you need to consider as a couple how your strategy will affect the surviving spouse.”

These kinds of issues are why getting expert help is important but you don’t want to get help from just anyone. A Fee-Only financial planner who takes a holistic approach to learning about your financial goals could help guide you towards a better financial future.