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Women and Finances

 

 

Let’s face it—the topic of money can be intimidating, but taking the time to focus on your personal financial plan is a crucial element to living an empowered life. The earlier we invest in ourselves and our futures, the easier it will be to transition to the next phase of life. Whether you’re a working single woman, a stay-at-home mom, or somewhere in-between, Apprisen offers these tips to become more financially secure. 

Be aware of your career field and earning potential.
In the last fifty years, women have made great progress in the workplace. However, according to the fourth-quarter 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of a woman working full-time were $692 and for men, $875. That’s a big difference, especially since 53% of all families have women as their primary earners as revealed in a recent survey conducted by Prudential "Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women."To narrow the gap, women need to consider higher paying careers and, if they are not getting the same pay as their male counterparts, speak up!

Give yourself a financial health check-up.
For those with minimal discretionary income, credit means everything! It is one of the most vital pieces of your financial health. Your credit score not only determines your interest rates on loans, it can affect your insurance premiums, and employers can use it as a pre-screen for job candidates. This also affects your personal bottom line, your budget. Make sure you take advantage of the free annual credit report offered by the three major reporting agencies: www.annualcreditreport.com. After checking your credit health, set yourself on course with a financial spending plan that includes goals, identifies priorities, and creates strategies for managing debt.

Create a retirement strategy. 
TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies conducted a recent survey which revealed that nearly half of women have no retirement strategy. Interestingly, 56% stated that they would rely on their own savings to get them through. To help women get motivated to start, they need to visualize what they want their retirement to look like. If they have a firm goal in place, and a clear vision of what it looks like, they are more likely to take the steps to get there. 

Make your money last. 
In the United States, the average life expectancy age of a woman is 81, whereas a man’s is 76. With women being caretakers for aging parents, divorce rates being high, and the lack of financial literacy targeted toward independence, these are all the more reasons that women should start planning for their retirement at a younger age. Enroll in the company’s 401k plan, and if not offered by your employer, open a Roth or IRA account. Make it a goal to contribute the yearly maximum to these accounts. A financial planner is a good resource in helping reach retirement goals. 

Empower yourself.
The Prudential survey also revealed that only 23% percent of women, of more than 1,400 surveyed, feel “well prepared” to make financial decisions. That is a telling statistic on the status of women and money. However, it can change.  Knowledge is the key to gaining confidence – take the time to learn what you don’t know. Seek financial education resources, like the Learning Center on Apprisen’s website, or read personal finance books. Know the family’s current financial situation—know your assets and liabilities. Create a spending plan that makes savings a priority. Finally, keep personal and family debt low in case of financial or relational problems in the future. Equipped with the tools and knowledge to empower their financial self-efficacy, women can co-create their futures while maintaining control of their lives. For more information, visit our learning center: www.apprisen.com/learning-center.

 

 

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