Having been raised primarily by my mother, I’ve witnessed the many challenges that women can face when planning their finances. Whether it’s raising a child and working full time (or multiple jobs), coping with financial distress after a divorce, earning less than their male counterparts, or planning for a longer retirement, women often find themselves playing catch-up.

Although equal pay has been the law since 1963, women are still paid less than men – even with similar education, skills, and experience. The National Women’s Law Center estimates that women are paid only 80 cents for every dollar a man was paid. (Nwlc.org/issue/equal-pay-and-the-wage-gap) Economist Evelyn Murphy, president and founder of The WAGE Project, believes the wage gap costs the average full-time US woman worker between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her work life. Worse yet, this doesn’t factor in reduced pension and Social Security benefits during retirement. (Statistics provided by the Older Women’s League at www.owl-national.org and the National Committee on Pay Equity, 2008.)

Retirement is one area where you really need to be first in line. Because many women will spend upwards of 25 years in retirement, it’s important to attain the retirement lifestyle you envision and that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s also crucial to ensure your income will last throughout your years in retirement. (US Department of Health and Human Services: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Health, United States 2008; Table 26: Life expectancy at birth, at 65 and 75 years of age by race and sex.)

In my practice, I’ve found that women tend to be more engaged in their finances. Women tend to ask more frequent and better questions than men. They’re also more likely to take notes. The flip side of this is that many of the women with whom I work seemed to start with less financial knowledge than their male counterparts. Getting over the fear of meeting with someone seems to be one of the largest hurdles that women face when looking to start working with an advisor. This fear often causes a delay in seeking financial advice.

As you can see, it is crucial that you act as soon as possible to prepare yourself for the future. You’re likely to have lived a life full of challenges and risen to the occasion to overcome those obstacles. When it comes time to prepare yourself for your years after work, make sure you once again rise to the occasion.

This column is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as specific advice to any individual. Partnership Wealth Management offers financial planning and wealth management services, with a long history of working with the LGBT community. Reach them at Partnershipwm.com or call 410-732-2633.

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Author Profile

Woody Derricks, CFP®
Woody Derricks, CFP®
Throughout my nearly 20 years as a Financial Advisor, I have seen some of the best and worst markets in our history. That experience allows me to approach my clients with the knowledge of how the markets fit into their greater financial picture. At Partnership Wealth Management we help everyday people who have accumulated wealth make sense of what they have and work with them to maximize their financial opportunities in a relaxed, comfortable, and professional environment. While we help people from all walks of life, many of our clients are same-sex couples searching for a knowledgeable, LGBT-friendly financial advisor to help them with their unique financial planning needs. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and have the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor(sm) designation. As a Registered Investment Advisor, we are not tied to any company’s investment products allowing us to provide unbiased advice by offering a wide array of investments and other products to our clients. Since 2001, I have been writing articles on financial planning for several regional newspapers and have been a guest speaker on LGBT financial issues for various local and national organizations. Additionally, I have conducted financial planning workshops for large corporations and government agencies. Non-Profit Work I believe that it is important to give back to the community and currently serve as the treasurer for FreeState Justice and as a co-founder/president of Paws for a Cause. I’m a current member of several LBGT, environmental, and local community groups. Personal My wife, Heidi and I enjoy camping, hiking, and traveling with our daughter, Elise, and our dogs, Fenway & Roxy. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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