How to Plan your Finances as a Woman
Financial planning is different for women. Women have longer lifespans, make less money than their male counterparts, and are more likely to put their loved ones first.
Updated on Mar 09 2020
Financial planning is different for women. Women have longer lifespans, make less money than their male counterparts, and are more likely to put their loved ones first—financially and otherwise. These are all reasons why women need to be proactive with their finances and retirement planning.
Don’t depend on your spouse
It’s common for women to make less, work less, or not at all. Because of this, many husbands make the majority of the money in a relationship. Think about it: Would you be able to live on your income in case of a divorce or death? Many women would not be able to. While a marriage is a partnership in all sense of the word, consider finding a way to up your income. This could be asking for a raise, working hard for a promotion, or even taking a part-time job if you are a stay-at-home mom. In fact, not saving for your own retirement is one of the worst retirement mistakes women can make.
Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund is essential regardless of if you are single or married. If you are single and lose your job then an emergency fund will help float you until you find something else. If you are married and you or your spouse loses a job, then an emergency fund will help you continue to pay your bills until a new job is found. This is especially important if you have children and can’t drastically change your current lifestyle (like majorly downsizing or moving to a lower cost of living area).
Maximize your retirement savings
This is a “gimme” regardless of if you are a man or a woman, but women are less likely to maximize or even contribute to their retirement accounts. However, women live longer than men and will need a retirement account that reflects that. Unique retirement challenges women face include:
- Increased longevity.
- Less time in the workplace.
- Gender income gap.
- Gray divorce and widowhood.
All of these are reasons that you want to plan your retirement slightly differently than your spouse.
Stay involved in your family finances
Working together with your spouse on your finances is another way that you can be on top of your financial situation. If you are able to see the ins and outs of your finances, then you can determine where expenses can be cut that your spouse may not easily see.
It’s important for you and your partner to sit down and discuss your financial goals. When you have the same goals in mind, you’ll have a more solid picture of finances and will be better able to plan your future. More women are taking control of their finances which is better preparing them for retirement.
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