Up at the crack of dawn. Work a whirlwind day. Head home to make dinner and clock in to one or more of your other jobs—household management, motherhood, elder care, or volunteer work for communities and schools. Back on the computer or BlackBerry until your eyes start closing. Off to sleep and then another day, and the same routine, begins.
Too often we’re focused on today: what we need to do at work to get through this week and what we need to do to keep our households running and our families happy, healthy and on track. Most women don’t spend enough time thinking about whether all the money they earn for all the hours they work will last them all the days of their lives.
It all comes down to one simple fact. You can work ridiculous hours and be paid good money—but if that money is not working for you (while you sleep, serve dinner and go about your day), all the work in the world won’t give you long-term financial security.
How do you make sure now that you’ll have financial security later? I asked Lori Price and Melissa Ciotoli of Price Financial Group to answer that question. Day in and day out they are helping women lay the groundwork for long-term financial security.
First, Lori points out that 90% of women will be in charge of their own finances at some point in their lives. That’s a fact attributed to a 2010 Women&Co. publication called “Women in Affluence.” Because of this eye-opening reality caused by widowhood and divorce, Lori advises women to map out and plan for their financial future now—even if their current financial picture appears to be very rosy and husbands seem to have finances under control.
The first step in the path toward lifelong financial security is to accept the fact that you will at some point need to take the reins. Step two is to test your personal financial knowledge. If you can answer a confident “yes” to each of the 10 questions below, Melissa says you’re well positioned to manage your own finances and sustain financial security through retirement. If you don’t score 100%, you need to carve out time now to gather information, read about various personal finance options and find a financial advisor who will educate and empower you for many years to come.
1. I know what my assets are, why I own them, where they are held, and who gets them when I pass away.
2. I know how much I can spend and not outlive my money.
3. I am prepared for the possibility that my parents may someday become my dependents.
4. I understand the risks I am taking in my investment and retirement accounts.
5. If I die tomorrow, I know my family will be financially sound. I also know that taking inventory of my assets and settling my estate will not be a nightmare.
6. If I am disabled or incapacitated, I know that my family and I will be taken care of and I know who will manage my money.
7. I know how much I spend and how much I save each month.
8. I know how to balance saving for college tuitions with saving for my retirement.
9. I am prepared for the cost of healthcare in retirement.
10. I know what I pay in taxes, and the impact that taxes have on my investments and my estate.
Lori Price, CFP® is the President & CEO and Melissa Ciotoli, CFP® is a Wealth Advisor at Price Financial Group, a financial services firm based in Wilton, CT that guides women and retirees through life’s transitions. The firm empowers women to embrace their financial future with optimism and the confidence of knowing that they have a plan in place to not outlive their money. www.pricefinancialgroup.com
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Private Advisor Group and Price Financial Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
This blog first appeared on 9 Lives for Women on 05/17/2012.