By Paulette Filion and Judy Paradi, StrategyMarketing.ca
TIMES HAVE CERTAINLY CHANGED FOR WOMEN
For the first time in history, women hold more senior jobs and earn and control more money than ever before. In fact, there’s a good chance that at some point in their lives they’ll be in charge of the majority of household financial assets, either through the sweat of their own brow or from an inheritance.
BUT WAIT, THE JOB’S NOT DONE YET…
This societal shift has put women today in the best position they’ve ever been to shape their own future. Yet despite that, there are many women―married, single, young and old―who still fail to take control of their own financial future. Why?
Traditionally, married women left it to their husbands, while single women give reasons ranging from “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t know how” to “I don’t think I have enough money saved”.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT…
But developing your own ability to take charge when it matters most rests squarely on your shoulders. Whether you’re single or married, you must step up and get involved, because the benefit of planning today for tomorrow is the freedom to live the life you want.
Planning for our own future means setting goals, taking a good hard look at what matters most to you over the short and long term and preparing for the unexpected.
It means not being blindsided by an unexpected expense like a car breakdown or a more serious life event like losing a job, facing a divorce, the loss of a spouse or a major illness.
PLANNING GIVES YOU MORE TIME…HONEST!
Planning ahead allows you the freedom to fully participate in life, because you’re not spending precious time and mental energy worrying.
For many women, it means having the ability to choose how they want to live without being concerned about what they “should” do. For others, it alleviates the worry of becoming dependent in the event of a divorce or widowhood.
PLANNING — YOU'LL LIKE IT!
Planning is defined as the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
Ironically, women instinctively know the benefits of planning. They tend to be listmakers and planners because it allows them to feel in control. Women make to-do lists so they can stop worrying about the possibility of forgetting something. In the same way, having a solid financial plan can free up your mind and energy to do other things.
Creating a financial plan is not as simple as making a list in a Day-timer, but it is the only way to make sure you’ll have choices as your life unfolds. The good news is you don’t have to develop a financial plan on your own. Which brings us to why having help in creating a financial plan makes sense.
WHY USE A FINANCIAL PLANNER?
Think of your planner as a personal trainer―someone who knows how to ask the right questions and helps you create a financial plan that includes a serious focus on those parts of your life that matter most.
When you work with a planner, the tasks of organizing your finances, investing to achieve your goals, paying down debt in the right amounts and protecting yourself against devastating events are all taken care of. You feel confident and on top of things because your financial planner is doing most of the work.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A FINANCIAL PLANNER?
Good financial planners listen to you and what’s important to you, without pressure or judgment. They answer your questions when you need to understand more and calm your nerves when volatility sets in.
A good financial planner...
- Connects money to life
- Builds your confidence
- Helps you achieve peace of mind
Financial planners help you:
- Express what’s important to a life well lived and help you rank your priorities by their significance to you.
- Connect your life goals with the financial realities to make them happen.
- Choose between goals, and review the options to have them all.
- Stay on top of the risks that are part of investing and make sure you have an alternative to protect the income and/or growth you need.
- Create a written plan that gets you to where you want to go and makes sure you stay on-track. That might include helping you figure out how to save more, or invest to the limit of your comfort zone.
Most importantly, together with your financial planner you’ll be able to connect the financial decisions you make today with the future you want tomorrow.
But not all financial advisors are financial planners. It’s important to consider the expertise and trustworthiness of the person you’ll work with.
To find a CFP® professional in your area to help you plan for the life you want to live, use our Find Your Planner tool.
For more on planning for your financial future, watch Build your money confidence and Women and financial planners and read Live your bucket list: 8 ways to turn goals into reality.