Women face unique issues when it comes to money, and whether that’s due to cultural bias, educational shortfalls, or other, wilder theories, the fact remains that there is a need to address those issues. We’ve taken a look at several books that can help female clients learn to handle their own finances effectively, plus one that can help you better serve both male and female clients.
Of primary interest to planners is Carol Ann Wilson’s The Financial Guide to Divorce Settlement (Marketplace Books, 2000), aimed at the professional engaged in divorce planning. The insights, suggestions, and strategies included cover everything from pensions and health insurance to property valuations and bankruptcy.
Whether you’re preparing a financial plan for a divorcing couple, helping a woman get a fair share of marital assets during a divorce, or considering how to handle her attorney’s request that you act as an expert witness on just how much she really needs to survive, you will find this book lucid and detailed, with plenty of examples and case studies.
There is also a useful listing of resources, places to turn for legal and mediation assistance, and blank forms and financial affidavits.
You’ve read Olivia Mellan’s columns in our magazine; her book with Sherry Christie, Money Shy to Money Sure: A Woman’s Road Map to Financial Well-Being (Walker & Company, 2001) can help your female clients conquer their fears about handling money and gain the confidence to handle most details of their fiscal lives.
Women in abusive relationships are often denied any access to money, whether it’s just spending money or management of the day-to-day household finances. And many women either lack the knowledge to feel comfortable about being responsible for their own finances, or have been taught from childhood that such a capability is somehow unfeminine. They find the path to security fraught with all sorts of unpleasant surprises.
Mellan and Christie address seven myths that are common among women (and perhaps among men, too), and show how to conquer them. Some women think they don’t have enough money to do anything. Some think money is too complicated. Others think being savvy about money makes them selfish people. But they shouldn’t. One myth after another goes under the magnifying glass, and then strategies are offered to counteract each. The strategies are presented in bite-sized pieces so that even a woman with no previous experience in handling her own money should be able to handle them one at a time.
The book also offers encouraging quotes from various well-known women about their own attitudes toward money, or about the female financial condition. All in all, it’s a good place to start a timid client on the road to money knowledge.