Women spend much of our time helping others. There are birthday celebrations to arrange, dinners to prepare, loved ones to consider. A woman is a truly amazing planning machine in a myriad of roles. Why, then, does the area of financial planning seem to take such a backseat, priority-wise, in a woman’s life?
As financial advisors it is the realization of this dichotomy that is of utmost importance when dealing with a female client. Helping her to realize that addressing this component of life is not only a gift to herself, but also a gift to her loved ones. Taking steps now to ensure that her later years will be spent safely and independently is a huge gift to children and families. To this end, the challenge for the advisor is to not only help her understand the importance of comprehensive planning, but also to motivate her to take action. What better time than the New Year?
While it is human nature to see the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to start anew, make promises, set goals, and decide to really change this time around, it will not happen without the advisor there to serve as a guidepost. Being there as a professional advisor to identify the financial goals, prioritize the steps necessary to reach those goals, and to serve as a trusted resource to work toward the accomplishment of those benchmarks is the difference between getting the client to address this area or having it collect dust on the 2008 “to do” list.
According to the 2005 Investing For Retirement Survey by Oppenheimer Funds, it is not uncommon for a woman to reach retirement without the necessary funding for her golden years. This outcome is due mainly to the fact that she may have entered the workforce later in life due to childrearing duties, care of elderly parents, etc. and thus may earn less than her male counterparts that did not experience any years away from corporate America. Couple that reality with the fact that women make up 61 percent of the 75-to-84 age range and you have plenty of motivation for your female client to take steps now to improve her later life.
It is easy for the female client to continue to care for all those she loves and ignore her own situation. Unfortunately, widowhood, divorce, and other unforeseen circumstances may put additional pressure on financial matters as pensions are lost, Social Security is reduced, and a woman finds herself solely responsible for the money decisions.
The great service you provide your female client by helping her address this issue will be repaid over and over again as she refers her friends to you telling them how valuable a role you have played in helping her realize her financial goals and dreams.
Helping your female client build the base of her financial home may not equate to large sales for you initially, but keep in mind that studies show women want a relationship with their financial advisor. This is a commitment by the advisor to view each client as a lifetime partnership, not as a quick sale. By assisting your client in achieving this item on the New Year’s “to do” list, you will also be taking great strides in increasing your client base and growing your business in 2008.
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