Financial Planning for Female Breadwinners: What They Need Most from Their Advisors

Financial Planning for Female Breadwinners

More and more women are finding themselves in the role of the family CFO.

It used to be that men bore most of the responsibility for making the money and managing the finances. But today, nearly 49% of all married women in the U.S. are the primary breadwinner in their families, bringing in at least half of the income, according to a 2018 study by Pew Research. These powerful women have preferences for an advisor that differ from men, but many financial pros aren’t even aware of it.

Female breadwinners typically wear numerous hats and lead very busy lives.

They’re often struggling to balance career and family obligations, resulting in numerous conflicting demands on their time. Many are also the throes of major life transitions, such divorce, impending retirement or the death of a spouse. With so much complexity on their plates every day, female breadwinners frequently look to their financial advisors to help simplify and streamline their lives. For them, the less paperwork and minutia they have to deal with, the better. Prioritizing and ranking what needs to be done by level of importance is essential.

Financial education is critically important.

Despite the fact that they may have amassed significant wealth and likely have robust savings accounts, many female breadwinners say they still lack confidence in managing their money. In fact, according to recent research from Spectrem Group, 34% of wealthy women believe they lack financial knowledge, compared to just 15% of men. Their actual knowledge is often much better than they realize but because they’re often supremely competent leaders at work, this perceived lack of fiscal competence may feel unnatural and uncomfortable. These women have a lot at stake, and they seek clear explanations in lay terms, not judgmental attitudes and stodgy institutional language. Often they pick up the concepts quickly with guidance from someone who can “speak their language”. Mastering an understanding of their finances allows them to feel empowered and in control.  

They want a well-rounded experience.

Women who earn significant incomes are often seeking a trusted go-to resource for multiple matters, beyond managing their investment portfolios and guiding them with retirement planning. The notion of a trusted advisor for other related aspects of their lives is generally appealing to these super-busy, affluent females. Advisors who can provide additional helpful resources and tools—whether that means a referral to an exceptional estate planning attorney or a top-notch accountant—are sure to be appreciated by these influential women.

They’re seeking a trusted partner.

Female breadwinners want a collaborative financial planning experience, not someone dictating what they should or shouldn’t do. As highly respected leaders and master decision-makers, and they want to be treated as an equal by their advisor. Forget generic solutions, too. These savvy women know that their situation is unique and they’re turned off by a “one size fits all” approach. Most often, they prefer having a number of tailored options at their disposal so they can work with their advisor to determine the best strategies to pursue. Like everyone, female breadwinners are looking for an environment where they feel safe, understood and supported.

Accountability and tracking are key.

As noted above, trust is at the foundation of the most successful female breadwinner-financial advisor relationships. A key element of that trust comes from consistently displaying exceptional accountability. While these powerful women don’t want to be caught up in the nitty-gritty with every detail of their finances, they do want to be kept abreast with frequent updates and know that their advisor is keeping a close eye on the state of their finances.

At FAI Wealth Management, we understand the specific and often complex needs of female breadwinners. If you're seeking proactive expertise and individualized guidance regarding your financial strategy, give us a call at 410-715-9200 or email me, Lyn Dippel, at ldippel@faiwealth.com.

About FAI Wealth Management, Inc.: Located in Columbia, Maryland, FAI focuses on helping clients create the financial future they desire by protecting their wealth, making the most of their assets, and planning for life's uncertainties. The firm combines fee-only, fiduciary-driven guidance with highly personalized, consultative financial planning and investment services that enable individuals, families, and businesses to navigate complex life transitions. Founded in 1987, FAI currently manages more than $350 million in client assets nationwide. For more information about FAI Wealth Management, please visit the website at https://www.faiwealth.com or call 410.715.9200.

 

 

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