Reading Time: 3 minutes – Posted: October 2020
In today’s economic and cultural backdrop, more women need to seek financial advice and prepare for a secure future. It is important for women to take ownership of their financial lives. Financial independence, maintaining one’s lifestyle and the ability to meet long-term health care needs are top priorities for women in retirement.
But how do women plan to achieve those goals?
In a recent WSFS Wealth survey of consumers in the greater Philadelphia region and Delaware, only 27% of women versus 68% of men feel knowledgeable and confident about their abilities to invest.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there is a five-year difference between the life expectancy of the average U.S. female and the life expectancy of the U.S. male.
This means women have a greater chance of outliving their spouse and will need to make financial decisions on their own. Because they statistically live longer, women are more likely to spend additional years in long-term care.
More encouraging, women are accumulating more of their own wealth as their role in the workforce has expanded over the last several decades. There are more women college graduates with higher paying jobs and business owners than ever before; this has led to steady employment, increasing salaries and more participation in 401(k), 403(b) and other company retirement plans.
On the flip side, women tend to assume caregiving responsibilities for their children and aging parents. This may shorten their time working outside the home, foregoing the opportunity to accumulate savings, Social Security credits and retirement benefits.
All these factors point to the need for women to focus on their current and future financial health. The WSFS Wealth study found that women are also more cautious than men on investing, with 56% of women saying they will both invest and conserve cash versus 35% of men.
Yet just 32% of the women surveyed who don’t currently use a financial advisor said they are likely to use one in the coming year versus 57% of men.
Because they want a trusted advisor to help build their wealth, an important first step to building financial confidence and wealth. When consumers choose an advisor, they’re primarily looking for a reputation of integrity (87%), transparency of fees (86%) and quality of service (84%) according to the study.
There are a few things women should think about when planning for the future:
- Get involved with understanding their own family finances; even if they don’t manage the day-to-day budget, they should understand their expenses, assets and how to access them.
- Seek advice from a trusted advisor who can teach, as well as assist, in making investment recommendations. The path to financial security begins with a solid investment plan that should be actively managed, even in difficult times.
- Know their risk tolerance; there is no blanket right or wrong level of risk, it is different for every individual. Find what works for your goals and family.
Financial advisors provide services from executing transactions to explaining various investment products, but most importantly describing the risks associated with various investments. While it may be suitable to delegate authority to a financial advisor, every investor should monitor the progress in their accounts and meet with their advisor regularly.
Taking steps now to make a financial plan, invest wisely and engage a qualified financial advisor will help women gain the financial confidence and know-how to own their financial life.
About the Author – Kelly Wellborn, CFP®
Kelly Wellborn, CFP®, is the President and Managing Executive of Cypress Capital Management, a subsidiary of WSFS Financial Corporation. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Accounting. As of 9/30/2020, Cypress Capital had more than $1.1 billion in client assets under management. You can contact Kelly at email@example.com.
This presentation is provided by Cypress Capital Management, LLC ("Cypress" or the "Firm") for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. No portion of this commentary is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Certain information contained in this presentation is derived from sources that Cypress believes to be reliable; however, the Firm does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages.
Cypress is an SEC registered investment adviser that maintains a principal place of business in the Greenville, Delaware. The Firm may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed or qualifies for a corresponding exemption from registration requirements. For more information about Cypress’ registration status and business operations, please consult the Firm’s Form ADV disclosure documents, the most recent versions of which are available on the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website at www.advisorinfo.sec.gov. Cypress is wholly owned by WSFS Financial Corporation.