What are your financial goals? Do you want to travel? Buy a car? Donate money to a charity you love? Be able to gift money to your children or grandchildren? Do you own a business and are thinking about succession planning? Do you want to buy your first house or a new house? Do you want to make sure you don’t have to worry about money when you retire? Saying “having enough for retirement” is vague. As with all goals, be specific.
LET YOUR VALUES GUIDE YOUR GOALS
Kari Douglas, financial advisor with Echelon Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., helps women identify their values as they create financial goals. Kari says, “It is never too late or too early to start planning for financial well-being; it all begins with identifying your personal goals and objectives.”
Kari encourages women to set goals, do their homework, admit they don’t know about investing, ask for help, take appropriate risks and focus on the long term. She says, “Women who have a financial plan feel the most confident and in control, are 10 times more likely to achieve said goal and are also more likely to feel at peace with their financial choices.”
DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR
Consider hiring a financial planner to help you. Cindy Sheppard and Jill Minette—financial advisors with Waddell & Reed who focus on working with women—say that it’s important to develop a strong relationship with the person who will be advising you. Sheppard and Minette encourage women to ask as many questions as they can. (There are no stupid ones!)
Monika Lovewell, senior vice president at Merchants Bank, says, “Build a relationship with a trusted and qualified financial advisor who understands your goals and challenges.” It doesn’t matter what your financial situation is. Everyone can benefit from learning how to manage their money. No matter what your income level is, you can work to achieve your goals. Usually there is a no-cost obligation for a consultation, and you can find out more about what kinds of services work best in your budget.
SAVE VERSUS SPEND
Paying off bills and student debt, as well as planning for your retirement should be a priority when it comes to finances. Once those needs are addressed, then you can use any extra money to “splurge” on a treat.
Sheppard and Minette urge women to avoid “retail therapy” as a way to feel better. There is a rush when you buy something new, but they advise taking time to think about it before making a purchase. Chances are that if you still want it the next day, it’s worth spending your money on.
According to Time magazine, women are less prepared for retirement than men. Time reported survey findings that show women are 27 percent more likely than men to say they have no retirement savings. Two-thirds of women say they have no savings or less than $10,000 in retirement savings, compared with just over half of men. Now is the time to get your retirement plans lined up.
EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Monika Lovewell says, “Understanding your financial situation clearly and learning about your planning options makes you feel better and more in control of your life. This empowerment reduces stress which improves overall emotional and physical health.”
And I think we all value that!
Emily Watkins is the owner of Empowered Wellness & Fitness Studio, where she teaches group fitness classes and is a personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She believes that fitness and nutrition are just a part of overall wellness.
This article is meant to be general in nature and should not be construed as advice or a recommendation related to your personal situation. Waddell & Reed does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with a professional provide to making any financial related decisions. Cindy Sheppard and Jill Minette are Financial Advisors with Waddell & Reed, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Waddell & Reed is not affiliated with any other individuals or entities referenced.