When we talk about finance for women and men, there is a difference. Here’s why our conversation about money has to be different.
- Women live on average 8-10 years longer than men, meaning our money must last that much longer. This also means women have a 90% chance of being the financial head of their household.
- Women earn less on average than men.
- Women take time out of the workplace to care for children and aging family members, meaning their social security will likely be less.
- A combination of working fewer years, earning less on average, and living longer means less money is available to support them during retirement, which will last longer.
- Also complicating the conversation is women’s aversion to risk. Women are less likely to invest their savings in growth investments, so their savings will likely earn less over time than money invested in more volatile, but higher growth investments.
Women’s beliefs about money are also different than their male counterparts. Women believe their savings are a pond, contained and not growing. Men believe money is a flowing river and there will always be more. This causes a fearful attitude around money for women. They don’t ever believe they will have enough. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with female clients around this subject. Regardless of the amount of their savings, they always think they will run out. We have to change this approach to money in order to have a healthy relationship with it.
Money is simply a tool to be used in exchange for something else we want or need. I can recommend lots of books and other resources to assist with this feeling, but the first step always is to recognize and name it.