Making Informed Choices

With more than one-third of mothers in the U.S. now their family’s primary breadwinner, bringing in at least half of household earnings, more women are providing critical financial support at home. Since women typically live five to 10 years longer than their spouses, their careers are often interrupted by family needs and they still earn only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, it’s clear that their investment needs can differ from their male counterparts. So it’s more important than ever that women prioritize their financial goals.

For most women, navigating complex family dynamics is at the forefront of many important decisions and can create unforeseen complications when considering retirement expectations. As we age, the possibility of adult children moving back home and an aging or infirm parent requiring financial or physical support creates added stress. Plus, blended families and divorce further complicate matters. As women struggle to work through this, as well as focus on investments and retirement planning, how can they protect their own future safety net while still nurturing loved ones’ needs?

With busy schedules and limited time, careful planning is key to relieving some of the anxiety. Here are a few broad but important tips and financial food for thought:

1. Budget specifically for the financial support you may need to provide for children, grandchildren, parents or siblings.

2. Take time to balance your family’s current needs with your own retirement requirements.

3. Understand your potential future healthcare costs and how to plan for those so as not to burden your family.

4. Discuss the implications of being financially secure and how that can lead to the perception that you are comfortable being the “family bank.”

Miri Upton, CRPC, CRPS, is an independent financial adviser with Synergia Financial Group, LLC in Ramsey.