No two paths of investing and retirement are the same, and that’s especially true for women. While some women do choose to get married and have children, others choose to chart their own course, independent of traditional marriage. Prioritize what’s important to you and how you envision your eventual retirement. Do you see yourself relaxing with friends and family? Are you starting a business and traveling the world? A conversation between you and a trusted financial professional will help you examine the challenges ahead and form your own strategy based on how you want to live your best life.
Regardless of your vision, there are a few concepts that may help you throughout all of the various stages of your life.
Strategy #1: Develop a Strategy
Developing a financial strategy doesn't have to be daunting. Do you have debt you want to pay off, a home you’d like to buy, or higher education you want to fund for yourself or a loved one? List what's most important to you (start by just writing down your top 2-3 things you want to work on). You can start building your savings strategy from there. Is your money aligned with or contributing to to those top goals that are most important to you? What is ONE thing you can you do to adjust where your money is going each month?
Strategy #2: Get Started
Regardless of your financial situation, one of the best things you can do is to start taking small steps and moving toward your goals today. Get in the habit of paying yourself first, and make investing part of each paycheck a consistent habit (automatic withdrawals are great for this). Even if you start small, you can always increase your contributions as your financial situation changes. Every little bit helps. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, time is one of the best assets you have when investing.
Strategy #3: Invest like a Woman (Yeah, I said what I said)
It’s a common misconception that women prefer a “hands-off” approach to their financial lives, even though the numbers don’t support this stereotype. Rather than being timid with money, today’s women investors are taking appropriate levels of risk. Women may trade less than men on average, but research shows that when it comes to investing, men tend to be overconfident in their abilities. Specifically, men trade 45% more than women and this tends to reduce their overall net returns (impact compounded by the higher taxes, commissions, and fees that may result from trading).1 What does it mean to invest like a woman? It means taking healthy, age-based risks and investing regularly for the long term. Work closely with your financial professional before diving into something that may look enticing but may ultimately detract from your goals.
Strategy #4: Build a Team
Confident investors are only as strong as the support team around them. Wise advice from a trusted professional can save you time and keep you on track to achieve your investment and retirement goals. Regular check-ins can help you adjust your strategy, especially if there’s been a major life change (such as divorce, loss of a loved one, marriage, career or job change, or time out of the workplace for caregiving responsibilities). By extension, a wider support team comprised of estate, tax, and legal professionals can work in conjunction with your financial professional to help you pursue the financial future you have in mind, no matter your age, life stage or what life throws your way.
Strategy #5: Never Stop Learning
We ALL wish we would have started earlier or that we could've made fewer mistakes financially. But, guess what? No ONE is perfect and that is OK. It’s never too late to become an empowered and engaged investor. Read that again.
Adopt the mindset of a lifelong learner. Stay curious and keep having conversations whenever you can about wealth management, financial strategies, and investing. Take advantage of the resources available to you to learn everything you can. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the experts in your life. Don't know where to start? Ask the experts what questions you SHOULD be asking. That's a fine way to start, too.
Your financial professional’s goal is to help you build the financial life you envision and the future you deserve. Have questions? Reach out.
Investing involves risks and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Past performance does not guarantee future results.This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.