Women are perhaps the most ignored people on the planet when it comes to finances, yet they control nearly 70% of the money and spending that happens in America. I received a lot of flak for writing a financial book just for women, but I felt it was important to empower and educate them. As I look back with hindsight, most of the criticism came from male financial planners.
Most women today see themselves as their home's chief financial officer. In a survey conducted by Allianz, women revealed that 57% of them do the research on financial planning and more than 60% handle their household taxes. 59% felt that educating their children on personal finance fell squarely on their shoulders.
Yet these same women surveyed had the majority admitting they use the internet as their No. 1 source for gathering information. They felt distrust and neglect from their financial advisor. Lastly, 90% felt they would be happier by joining the financial conversations.
"Women no longer take a back seat when it comes to finances," said Katheryn Parker-Merritt, CEO Katalyze Group. "We are decidedly not 'fragile flowers.' We are powerful and want to be informed and effective in our financial futures. And we want to know the truth about how our money can grow safely."
I want to share three ways to improve your odds for a more secure retirement.
- Understand how to maximize your Social Security benefits. Women are more often not covered by private retirement plans because of less time in the work force. This makes their dependence on social security even higher in their later years.
"It may be beneficial for the lower-earning spouse to start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62 while the higher-earning spouse waits until full retirement age," says Joshua Mellberg, founder of J.D. Mellberg Financial. "This can results in an 8% increase every year by simply delaying benefits."