Last year we surveyed nearly 200 midlife women about a variety of issues in their lives, ranging from relationships, finances, current priorities, and life satisfaction. Not surprising, we found 48% of the women reported a high level of financial uncertainty, from recent bankruptcies to living from paycheck to paycheck. 62% reported being less confident about their financial investment savvy and 47% need help and believe their personal financial management could be better.
This is a very serious problem for women’s future financial security. While we didn’t survey the specifics as to why these numbers are so high, I believe there are several reasons women are less confident about personal money management than men.
1. Most of us women were raised with a belief that money was the “man’s job”. In most post-WW-II families in which we grew up, dad was the breadwinner and seemed to make the important decisions around money, with the exception perhaps of household budget issues. Men didn’t necessarily “know more”, it was simply part of the provider role. Fortunately for most, the economy and other factors were fairly steady, jobs were plentiful, home ownership the norm with slow steady rising values, and pensions and one-employer careers common. The rise of middle class elevated a great number of people, regardless of financial decisions, certainly not for all but for many. In the late 60’s all that changed.
2. As divorces and single families rose, women joined the workforce in mass–our time stretched between single parenting, working outside the home and trying to do it all! Not only was a woman’s personal needs unmet, future planning was not even on the radar. The high cost of single parent households in a volatile economy over the past 25 years, coupled with the most Americans’ failure to save has left over 70% of us over-50 with very little in savings or financial security. Oh yeah, toss in easy credit and the buy now, pay later mentality!
3. We thought we’d get to it later, and later never came. Women are less inclined to invest in the stock market, take informed financial risks (and hence reap the rewards), hire financial planners and seek good advice, and focus on our future needs. As boomer women (and men) arrive at retirement, too many of us are uninformed, under-invested and financially at-risk.
4. Another thing…many of us were duped into magic thinking. Countless expensive workshops led us to believe if we simply visualized and cut out pictures of beautiful future it would magically show up. What they failed to tell you was–between that vision board and that perfect life–good, tough decisions must to be made and the right actions must be taken. Are you willing to do that?
5. Women are very reluctant to “talk about money”. It’s time to get real, be open and learn, discuss, and share information together. It’s time to shine a light of our money issues and take realistic steps for a secure future. It can be done.
If you believe that your financial future is insecure, bleak, scary or unknown, the time to do something is right now! Do not wait another day. It goes far beyond the nice pleasant visualizing a bright future day on the beach living an abundant life. It takes information, decisions and well informed actions. Become informed with accurate information from reliable sources.
Hourglass Workshops is committed to women re-discovering themselves after years of service and enjoying better relationships….and our relationship with money is essential.
We are hosting a September 3-part series for women who want good information, feel more confident about their financial life, and create steps to secure a more solid financial future. It begins September 9th, so sign up today. To save money, we are offering an early bird discount if you sign up by August 31st. Please join us