Come on ladies, it’s time to get a handle on long term finance!

There have been a number of headlines recently about women not taking responsibility for their longer-term planning, many leaving it to their partner. Is this a problem?

Perhaps not for some, but in my job I see lots of women who have been widowed and have little knowledge of their financial situation, which inevitably means a steep learning curve at a difficult time.

Divorce is another one – already an anxious time, trying to work out where you are financially can make it more stressful.  For everyone else though, I wonder if it should be a priority to know that you are going to be “alright” in the future?  There is also the matter of leaving long term planning to someone who might not be very good at it….?

To be honest, the research suggests that married women are the ones managing the day to day finance – 85% of us to be exact.   So why are married women not involved/interested in the longer term?  From my experience, it’s a lot of things:

  1. Head in the sand mentality – managing the day to day means that you only control the means to fund what you want now.
  2. Lack of confidence in knowledge – the UBS Investor Watch study of high net worth individuals shows that 62% of married women leave the long term financial decisions to their husbands. 73% of these women felt that they didn’t have the higher level of knowledge needed to make investment decisions. UBS surveyed 3,652 women.  2,251 were married.
  3. Saying “I’ve never been good at maths!” If you are managing the day to day finances you are as good at maths as you need to be, this is an excuse.

How can you get the ball rolling?

  1. Take responsibility for your joint finances – it’s different to putting the bins out. It’s not a task that one person should do alone.
  2. Communication is key – take some time out as a couple to look at how prepared you are? What do you already have in place?  What do you actually need? When do you want to be financially independent?  Be realistic.  Be fair.  Be nice.
  3. Educate yourself – the Government’s Money Advice Service is a good starting point.
  4. Understand what tax wrappers can do for you. If your savings can be bolstered by a bit of tax relief maybe that’s worth thinking about?
  5. Seek out an independent trusted adviser – together. They will help you focus on what’s important and make a plan. By meeting with them regularly they will also help you keep on track taking into consideration inevitable changes in circumstances and legislation.

Don’t – do nothing. Contact us. 

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