Claire Emory MBA, CFP, CFA of Clarity Financial Planning is dedicated to helping people, and women especially, take care of themselves and the people they love. Why women especially? Because women may be focusing on taking care of others and remain unaware of what they can do to secure their own financial future. It is hard to help those around you if you are struggling. And when we life comfortably, it is hard to imagine that we are not being fiscally responsible but if you have no savings and have given little thought to retirement, you need to consider these things.
Brain Track published some interesting statistics on “The $849,000 Disadvantage for Being Female” and while that may sound a little depressing, think of it as a wake up call to start getting your financial life in order. Rather than feeling disadvantaged, women can focus on doing more for themselves rather than less. Leaving yourself last on your list is not beneficial to you or those who matter most to you—be they family, friends, pets, community groups or anyone else you care about.
A Saveup.com study found that compared to men, women tend to:
- Earn less
- Save less
- Take more time away from work to care for others
- Pay higher insurance premiums
- Live longer
- Have smaller retirement goals
- Have more higher education debt
While you may not exactly fit in with all of the statistics outlined in the study, there is a good chance that if you are a woman, you have not optimized your earning or saving potential.
In order to increase your economic might, you can:
- Negotiate to earn more
- Save more
- Try to decrease your unsecured debt (e.g., credit card balances)
- Get better returns on your investments (a Fee-Only financial advisor can help you do this)
- Set higher goals for retirement savings (after all, you may live longer than you think)
- Invest in yourself via higher education but find ways to incur less debt while doing so