Women and Wealth: 3 Ways to Reset Your Thinking

It’s no secret that women today play a significantly larger role as business owners, entrepreneurs or senior executives – much more than they did 50 years ago. It’s an achievement worth celebrating every day, but more so today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day.

With a greater share of the wealth (gained through earnings and inheritances, for example), women are increasingly commanding the attention of the financial services industry. That’s no surprise. According to Strategic Insights, in 2014, women (with $500,000+ in assets) controlled a total of $900 billion in assets – a number estimated to more than double to $2.1 trillion by 2024. Women are accumulating wealth through their work, investments and from inheritances.

As their wealth grows, however, are women playing a big enough role in family wealth planning discussions? More importantly, are their financial concerns being sufficiently addressed?

We asked a few of our Advisors who work with high net worth families about the concerns and challenges the women they work with face, and how they help navigate them. Here is what they said.

1. Look for knowledge, trust and respect in your Advisor

As a whole, women are concerned about financial safety and security, says Midori Hillis, a certified financial planner with IPC Investment Corporation in Victoria, B.C.

“They aren’t necessarily after the highest rate of return – they’re after stability and making sure they have a financial plan that fits within their timeline,” says Midori. “Women are planners. For them, it’s not just about making sure their RRSP is topped up but more about what their overall financial plan looks like year after year.”

High net worth or not, female investors face a number of unique concerns and circumstances. “Generally women outlive men, and I have far more widowed female clients than widowed men,” says Rob Charron, an investment advisor with IPC Securities Corporation in Mississauga. “So there is that worry when they’re thinking about the different phases of retirement”.

Marie Phillips at IPC Securities Corporation in Ancaster, agrees. Women’s longer lifespans call for more comprehensive insurance planning, she says, as well as a savings and investment calculation that covers not only many more years but potentially higher health care costs.

“They may need long-term care and don’t have family to help look after them,” says Marie. “As they get older and lose their spouses, many women just won’t have the same social support that men commonly do.”

There’s never a one size fits all solution to any of these challenges.

Whether it’s inheriting a business or needing an investment strategy that allows them to preserve and grow their wealth, it is important for women to always ask questions and work with an Advisor who takes the trouble to understand their concerns and motivations in the wider context of their family’s overall financial planning needs.

As women, take charge of your own financial legacy.

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