Here’s a financial tale for your enjoyment…
“Once upon a time there was a beautiful and popular girl who grew up in the world’s most perfect little family. Everyone loved each other, spoke nicely and supportively to each other and everyone went to bed happy and joyful every night.
The girl learned everything she needed to know in order to grow into a stunning (aren’t they always?) young woman who graduated with honors from the most prestigious university in the country with the most amazing job offer of $100,000 to start along with plenty of yummy benefits.
On the first day of her fabulous new (and first and only) job, she met the man of her dreams (of course). He was not only to-die-for handsome but romantic in every way.
He swooped her off of her feet, they fell helplessly in love and had the most exciting, beautiful and memorable fairy tale wedding in the world. Their honeymoon was exquisite…a month-long cruise to every island in the Caribbean.
After their perfect honeymoon, she went back to her satisfying career and worked for five more years, getting promotions and huge raises every year.
Finally, the couple decided to have two perfect children, a sweet and charming girl and a handsome, intelligent boy, each gifted and never a behavioral problem ever.
The perfect couple lived with their perfect children in a perfectly safe housing development with a view of the mountains on one side and a view toward the ocean from the other side.
The couple saved and invested ten percent of their income from their very first paychecks, never had a single emergency and even had enough put away to pay for their two children to attend the finest universities money could buy.
They never got into any debt and when they were 55 years old, they both retired and lived out their lives happily ever after.”
STOP! WAIT! This isn’t how your life turned out? Mine either!
Let me guess what DID happen…
- At some point, you couldn’t afford your expenses (or you just had to have those new shoes, the matching handbag and the perfect coat), so you borrowed some money to get by (i.e., you used your credit card). Then you couldn’t pay the loan or credit card back and the digging began. As the debt mounted, so did your stress levels and your ability to deal with money at all, or your children, or…
- Or you have just struggled to make enough money to pay your basic expenses and have felt there was never enough to start saving and investing. Many women feel this way, until they learn what we teach at Celebrating Women & Wealth.
- Or you got divorced and got the children but no alimony or child support.
- Or…there are a zillion other reasons why you are struggling financially. We feel your pain!
Please know that you’re not alone. There are more women in the U.S. (and world) who are struggling financially than most people realize.
Here are some interesting financial studies and findings…
According to a study on InsuranceNewsNet.com by the financial education company called Financial finesse:
- In every age group, women were more likely than men to report significantly higher levels of financial stress
- Women under 30 are nearly twice as likely as men to report feeling “overwhelming” or “high” financial stress levels.
- Middle- and low- income mothers are reporting the greatest financial stress of all the market segments studied.
- Men just seem to have an easier time of it. Among those with annual household incomes of under $60,000, men were twice as likely as women to report “no financial stress” (19% versus 7%), according to the study. The same trend appeared among those under age 30, where 26% of men reported having no financial stress, while only 9% of women said the same.
- Stress levels can change over time, especially with the help of education. The Financial Finesse study noted that 66% of all users of its financial education programs were women, and those women “appear to be taking steps to improve their finances.
- The presence of minor children in the household impacts women’s stress levels. For example, 10% of women with minor children reported overwhelming stress compared to only 3% of those without minor children.”We know that women often experience high levels of stress before retirement as they juggle both professional and family responsibilities (and) that the stress women feel often carries over into retirement,” said Elaine Sarsynski in commenting on the study.
The financial company Prudential reported:
- Forty-four percent of women are primary breadwinners in their households.
- Household income, personal circumstances and a host of other factors affect women’s stress levels and financial choices. For instance, 31% of women in the Prudential study said that not having enough disposable income was their top financial planning hurdle. They also complained of lack time to spend on financial planning and difficulty understanding financial jargon. married women now say they “take control” of financial and retirement planning and manage it themselves, up from 14% in 2006. Despite that, many women continue to feel more stress in financial matters than do men, although some are making strides.
- In the Prudential study, researchers found a worrisome retirement trend, however. Only 33% of the women said they were on track or ahead of schedule in planning or saving for retirement — down from 46% in 2008, although up from 24% in 2012.
- It appears that women’s top long-term financial goal is “having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement,” Prudential researchers found. That’s followed by “not becoming a financial burden to loved ones” and “having enough money to pay for health care costs.”
These similarities in findings between the two studies occurred even though the foci of the studies differed: The Financial Finesse study looked at financial issues, while a MassMutual study looked at retirement issues.
As you see, women really are struggling all over the US. You definitely aren’t alone and not feeling alone is a great first step to finding solutions to your financial challenges.
If you’re want to learn more, and you’re ready to do money differently, click the link on the bottom right and schedule your free 30 minute consultation. It may be the most important decision you make today. We really want to help.