According to a UBS survey in 2019, almost 60% of women globally do not engage in the most important aspects of their financial well-being, i.e. investing, insurance, retirement and other long-term planning. Instead, they defer these decisions to their partners for a variety of reasons.
But a lack of financial participation could result in increased marital stress. In addition, when one spouse is excluded from financial decisions, their understanding of the family's finances, and the skills that are required to make choices, will fade.
Why financial planning is especially important for women:
As lifespans continue to increase across the globe, many women are likely to live well into their 90s and outlive their spouses.
This means that more women will find themselves solely responsible for their own finances. And surviving spouses who had little engagement in their finances prior to widowhood may be put in the difficult situation of needing to catch up during one of the most emotionally challenging periods.
In our survey, 76% of widows and divorcees globally wished they had been more involved in long-term financial decisions. And nearly 80% of them would urge other women to take a more active role.
We have no way of knowing what the future holds, but that doesn't mean nothing can be done to prepare for it. A good place to start is with a financial plan that will work with you regardless of what life throws at you.
Keep in mind three actions:
1) Own your worth
Know where you stand and what you want. Take the time to add up your assets and liabilities, like loans, credit and other debts, and ask for full transparency from your partner.
Then, ask yourself a series of questions to help in framing your needs:
• What do you want to accomplish in your life?
• Who are the people who matter most to you?
• What do you want your legacy to be?
• What are your main concerns?
• How do you plan to achieve your life’s vision?
2) Find your voice
Talking about money is considered taboo to some couples, particularly before they are married. For example, men and women come into relationships with different attitudes toward spending and saving. Some couples would rather stay silent than provoke an argument. But there is a tremendous benefit to having open communication about money, and often a trusted financial advisor can help in this process.
3) Set an example
According to our survey, women are repeating the gender roles they saw growing up. As you begin taking a more active role in your finances, you can set an example of financial partnership for the younger generation.
And finally, while every family's financial situation is unique, UBS's Liquidity. Longevity. Legacy framework** is something all investors can use to make sure they cover both their short-term needs and long-term goals.
A vast majority of women who participated in long-term financial decisions reported that they feel less stressed about their finances and more confident about their future.
Find out more at Own Your Worth.
Main contributor: Wendy Mock
**Timeframes may vary. Strategies are subject to individual client goals, objectives, and suitability. This approach is not a promise or guarantee that wealth, or any financial results, can or will be achieved.