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Topic of the Month

Financially Savvy Women

On the whole, women live longer than men, they earn less, and are less secure in retirement. This is surprising since women can also be terrific budgeters, investors, and entrepreneurs. Women are significantly more likely than men to have a detailed accounting system for tracking household expenses and have a well-defined set of financial goals. So why do many women lack the confidence to make financial decisions that will ensure their financial independence?

While many women are excellent at managing money in regards to household expenses, studies show that they have lower confidence levels when it comes to the serious financial choices—leaving the decision making and retirement planning up to their husbands, partners, or employers. Why is it easier, even when women often contribute equally to the household income, to let others steer the financial boat?

For many women, financial planning is about peace of mind. It is about protecting and providing for the people they love. While thinking of your loved ones first is admirable, it is important to do the research and work to protect yourself first.

The following tips are from Women’s Institute for Financial Education, whose slogan inspires women to financial action, ‘A Man is not a Financial Plan.’

Below are some life events to consider as you work towards becoming more financially savvy:

  • Marriage: How will you and your spouse share the management of financial resources?
  • Children: How will you finance their care and feeding for twenty years (or more)?
  • Divorce: Have you considered that statistics show that 50% of marriages end in divorce?
  • Career Turning Points: Will you work or stay home with the kids? How will you stay current and employable?
  • Widowhood: Did you know that nine out of ten women are on their own financially at some point in their adult lives?
  • Caregiving: How will you adapt when the need to care for aging parents? How will your finances may be affected by the time, energy, and resources required?
  • Retirement: How will you finance the potentially 30-year span after you and/or your partner leave the work force?
  • Estate Planning: Have you thought about estate planning? This is a truly significant one for all who hope to leave this world a better place and assure the best future and most comfortable transition for their loved ones.

Women, regardless if they are currently in the home or the work force, can know how to create a budget, invest into a retirement plan, and understand the stock market. It our hope that women and men, of all ages, are one day are confident and independent when it comes to money management, savvy enough to save for (and navigate) their own futures.

Additional Resources

Financial Corps: a social enterprise providing an information and social platform for the global financial education community

Women’s Institute for Financial Education: the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest for financial independence

Go Girl Finance: a website devoted to helping women gain confidence when dealing with money

Girls Inc: an organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, providing girls with life-changing experiences and real solutions to the unique issues (including financial) girls face

 

For the complete September Resource Package, click here.

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Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.