In my living room sat an architect, a CPA, a healthcare executive, a innovation consultant, a marketing and branding expert, a retired attorney, a writer for the Huffington Post, a clutter coach, an interior designer, a home staging specialist, a jewelry designer, a technical writer, and a newspaper columnist. We were joined by an IT manager, a freelance interactive producer, an owner of a cooking-party company, an owner of a company specializing in culinary health education for kids, a development director, a yoga instructor, a marketing consultant, a personal fashion stylist, a trade marketing manager and a business student. All women. All interesting and accomplished.
Women are as diverse as any other group of people in their career choices and in their lifestyles. But women also share distinct attributes: They are great communicators, relationship builders and nurturers. They also share unique financial planning needs. For example, many women are concerned that they will be old and poor and alone. Look at these facts:
- Eighty percent of American women will find themselves the sole keepers of their personal finances at some point during their lives, However, most of those women feel financially insecure, despite controlling more wealth, having more education and being more involved in financial decisions.
- Women still make less than men make in similar occupations.
- Women’s careers are often interrupted by family needs, such as childcare and eldercare, which limits their opportunity for income and retirement savings growth.
- Many women fear losing everything and becoming bag ladies (and it doesn’t seem to matter how much money they have or make).
- Two-thirds of women over age 65 rely on Social Security as their primary source of income. Consequently, women are twice as likely as men to live out their golden years at or below poverty levels.
In my living room, we nibbled bites of grilled salmon covered in sesame seeds, ginger chicken, and artichoke frittata while sipping champagne cocktails. Everyone listened attentively to presentations on serious topics such as the 2010 tax relief act and the new healthcare law, but also to fun topics such as the top ten wardrobe essentials and how to save money on your wardrobe. In between speakers, we women did what we are great at: connected, made new friends and perhaps got a business lead or two.
About Cathy Curtis
Cathy Curtis, the writer of this blog and owner of Curtis Financial Planning, specializes in the finances of women, their families and their businesses. You can find out more about her on her website www.curtisfinancialplanning.com and follow her on Twitter @cathycurtis, on Facebook Women and Money and on LinkedIn Women and Money.