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Women as wealth builders

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Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 11:00 am

When it comes to money, women have their own style. The wealth-building strategies that resonate with women and lead them along the path to greater financial freedom are not the same as those for men. We assimilate money information differently — not only because of cultural attitudes and beliefs about women and money, but because of how our brains take in, process, and use information. How much of your brain power is being applied to decreasing your financial vulnerability and increasing your financial know-how and well-being?

Financial education for women has never been more imperative. There is considerable good news when it comes to women and money. Consider this:

• Women now control over 50 percent of the wealth in the United States.

• By 2030, women may control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.

• The number of wealthy women is growing almost twice as fast as the number of wealthy men (45 percent of American millionaires are women).

The not-so-good news is that many women don’t feel confident about managing their own money, even though they will need to do so. Since women typically live longer than men it means that many of us will be managing our own financial affairs at some point because of being widowed, single or divorced. It also means that we need to save more and save wisely for our retirement.

Two out of every three American women say that they feel they have little knowledge of financial products and services. Are you one of them? If you are thinking: “I wouldn’t know where to start, I have too much debt, I’m too young, too old, I don’t want to lose what I already have,” remember that every successful, wealthy woman confronted these or similar obstacles, and THEN she got the financial information she needed to take the next step.

We are the role models for the next generation of women and it will be up to us and our female descendants to manage much of the $41 trillion expected to pass through the generations over the next 50 years. Are you helping your children learn about personal finances so they can gain financial independence, manage debt, and thrive in the world that lies ahead? It’s a great gift to give.

My best advice: You don’t wait until you have cavities to learn how to brush your teeth. Make a step-by-step plan now to educate yourself about the world of finances. Then pay it forward.

• Cynthia K. Fick is founder of Financial Life Planners LLC in Ahwatukee. Reach her at (480) 346-4073 or ckfick@cox.net.

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