This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Prudential.
When you think about your finances or about your financial future do you feel prepared? Did you know that as women, we face unique financial challenges?
If you are unsure about your financial future or you feel unprepared like many do, keep reading. I promise, you’re not alone. For years, I have been the main budget creator of the family. I have researched ways to cut costs at home, I have clipped coupons, I have bought used instead of new whenever possible, I have taken advantage of hand me downs for the kids, and made sure that we always received the best price possible on services and goods for our family. I made the budget for a family of 6 and I made sure we all stuck to it. But, with the exception of saving for the kids’ college, I never planned for the future of our family finances. Until a tragedy occurred in our family.
Just a few years ago, a close family member lost her husband. He was young and it was an unexpected death. And they had a family to raise. They have three children under 21. She did work full time as did her husband. They had an amazing life, beautiful home on 15+ acres complete with farm animals, fun toys, an RV, and more. They never planned for this to happen. No one does. But, there was no life insurance policy. Sure my sister was working full time and making enough to pay the main bills. But once he passed, the financial stress set in. First, there needed to be time for grieving. This meant no income. Then, other costs for funeral etc. And the bills didn’t stop coming in.
This was an eye opening moment for me. We needed to have a life insurance policy and a will. Also, I learned about our savings plans and our retirement. You see, we had these all along, but I never inquired about it. As I said above, I was so busy cutting our day to day costs and budgeting short term, I had forgotten all about long term financial goals! I let my husband deal with it all because it was just too stressful for me and because as a CPA he was amazing with numbers. I was very relieved to hear about our savings. But, was terrified that we did not have a life insurance policy. I know it’s not something that anyone really wants to think about, but it’s something that I promise will bring a peace of mind once it’s completed. Women tend to outlive men, so what will happen to that income in your future? Even if you are a stay at home mom, you need a life insurance policy. You work long hours at your home, even if you do not receive a paycheck. You are the taxi, housekeeper, cook, educator, nurse, referee, and so much more.
I believe that as women, we need to take control of our finances. Both short and long term finances. Prudential financial professionals are available to help start your journey.
Let me share some eye-opening gaps that currently exist for women:
1) Wage and Income Gap:
- The average woman working full-time earns 79% of the income earned by her male counterpart.1 This is because of many issues – lower likelihood to negotiate salaries, time out of the workforce, and differences in pay.
- The wage gap not only impacts women’s 401K balances over their lifetime but it also impacts their social security payments. Predictably women’s social security benefits are 27% lower than that of their male counterparts.2
2) Investment Gap: Women don’t invest to the same degree as men. 3 Women’s discomfort with investing comes at a high cost for them: They are apt to delay investing, invest more in lower risk, lower return investments and are more likely to run out of money in retirement.
3) Women Are Living Longer and Living Alone: Women outlive men by an average of 5-6 years.4 Are you prepared financially for these years?
4) Time Gap: On average, women in the U.S. spend 28 hours per week on household chores – 65 percent more than the average for men.5 That is uncompensated work and it does not figure into women’s financial planning. Prudential has created a tool called the “Value of all you do” that lets you very quickly quantify the value of all the household chores you do on a daily basis. What you would need to pay someone to do those for you.
Eye opening, right? Were you aware of any of the above? I can definitely relate with 2 and 4. I never looked at the investment side of things. I do now. I have challenged myself to be more involved and educated in this area. And I never realized the amount I would need to pay someone to do everything I do on a daily basis at our home and for our kids if something were to happen to me.
If you want help getting started on your journey to plan your financial future, a Prudential financial professional is available to help. No need to stress out and try to figure it all out on your own. Financial Professionals can assist and guide you.
Then, encourage all the special women in your life to get to know their finances and be empowered.
- Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables Table P-40: Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s Earnings by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
- Source: Social Security Administration, Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2016
- Source: http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/sallie-krawcheck-ellevest-launch;
- Source: Prudential Retirement analysis; National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD. 2016
- Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54757