In honor of the International Women’s Day on March 8th we would like to dedicate this month’s blog to ‘Women and Finance’. It is important for every woman to feel confident on financial matters. Women have a longer life expectancy and statistically outlive their spouses. They are also known to take a back seat on the financial decision-making process. We encourage you to focus on the following matters.
1: Monitoring your income and expenses: The fundamental of financial planning is ‘telling your money where to go instead of asking where it went’. Irrespective of your age and whether you are retired or still employed, keeping an eye on your expenses, living within/below your means is a key to a strong financial foundation.
2: Have a healthy emergency cash reserve: The recommended amount is anywhere from six months to two year’s expenses in savings/ money market/CDs irrespective of the interest it earns. Retired individuals may be on the higher end.
3: Protect yourself with adequate risk management products: Do you and your spouse have adequate life insurance and will you be able to afford long term care? Savings and investments can deplete rapidly in the event of unplanned events
4: Investment strategies for your investment: With longer life expectancies, a post retirement life of 20 years plus is very likely for most people. The investment portfolios in both retirement and after-tax accounts will require growth for the long term to keep up with inflation. Being conservative with age in a low interest rate environment may deplete the assets rapidly.
5: Update your legal documents as and when there are changes: Your trusts, wills and financial as well as health powers of attorneys are recommended to be reviewed and updated as and when there are changes in laws and in your personal circumstances. It is also important to discuss your plans with your adult children and make them aware of their roles /responsibilities in the event of your death/ disability.
6: Social Security and Medicare Matters: These are complex topics but very important to understand for every retiree. Social Security is a significant portion of most retiree’s income and planning it correctly secures the survivor’s benefits. Monitoring Medicare can often be challenging and may require working with professionals for guidance.
As clients of our firm, you are most likely organized in your financial matters. Although the recommendations are applicable to everybody, it is our hope that every woman focuses on these planning matters. We encourage you to share this with your adult children and other family members.
Financial planning is age based and changes over time. The following link provides you with age- by-age guide.
We also recommend ‘Smart Women Finish Rich’ by David Bach, an interesting and informative book for you and to share with other women in your life. If you believe that you have made your financial plan and are all set, Bach suggests ‘Learning about money is a never-ending process because the world is constantly changing.”
With best regards
Minoti H. Rajput CFP, ChSNC Mehul S. Mistry, CFP®, ChSNC® Elinor K. Ho, ChFC ChSNC,CPWA®