Time for some startling statistics...

According to research by Wells Fargo, affluent women are significantly less confident about retirement than men. The least confident of all are single women, and the most confident are married men.

About 700,000 women will lose their husbands this year. The median age when a woman is widowed is 59.

So...women are less confident than men, they are often widowed at a young age, they live on average longer than men and they control more and more of our nation's wealth.

What to do? Women must take charge of their own financial lives. This means-

  1. Selecting a competent Financial Advisor who is willing to take the time to explain investing and insurance concepts and options to you, with patience and in terms that you can understand. They should also be able to concisely explain to you the ways in which they are compensated by fees and / or commissions.
  2. Doing a budget and understanding your spending and cash flow needs.
  3. Where possible, spending less and saving more. You really cannot save enough money for retirement. Social Security might not be around in its current format for younger people, most of us no longer have pensions, we have to worry about historical inflation of 3-4%/year, we are living longer / being kept alive longer and the costs of college, healthcare and long term care are all skyrocketing.
  4. Defining your important financial goals, both short and long-term.
  5. Gathering up your financial account statements and making folders or a binder for them, so you have records of all of your accounts and know where to find them.
  6. Taking the time to work with your trusted advisor to develop a living, comprehensive financial plan that (minimally) addresses retirement, survivor and estate planning.
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).