Merrill Lynch is hosting 10 events for female investors that address issues such as health care costs, balancing family financial support with retirement goals, impact investing and leaving a legacy.
The programs kicked off in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Tuesday and will continue for the next two years.
“Women have fundamentally different financial journeys from men, and these journeys should be acknowledged and discussed,” Kirstin Hill, Merrill Lynch managing director and strategic performance executive, said in a statement. “We have an important opportunity to dive into the issues and priorities that are top of mind for women and to provide them a clear road map for investing strategies that align to their particular experiences and goals.”
The event in Arizona featured neuroscientist Lisa Genova, author of “Still Alice,” as well as Dr. Kathy Magliato, the surgeon who founded the Multidisciplinary Women’s Health Center at Providence St. John’s Medical Center. It also included a financial wellness panel.
“We are committed to empowering women to live their best financial lives,” said Jennifer Auerbach-Rodriguez, director and head of Strategic Growth Markets for Merrill Lynch, in a statement. “Through this speaker series, our resources, and expertise, we are advocating for more candid conversations about money, investing and women owning their financial futures.”
A recent survey by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found that 70% of women believe women and men have “fundamentally different life journeys [and] yet there is reluctance in talking about money.”
It also revealed that 61% of women would rather talk about their own death than discuss money. Plus, 64% would like to live to 100, though 44% are concerned they will run out of money by 80. In addition, about 30% of women ages 30 to 44 have not planned for their future.
Research on longevity concludes that since women live longer, they have need to spend about $195,000 more on health care, including long-term care, than men. They also are more likely to serve as caregivers for spouses and parents.
Merrill Lynch is not the only broker-dealer, of course, working to address the financial needs of women. Earlier this week, Raymond James hosted its first high-net-worth event for female clients in Beverly Hills with about 135 attendees, including the heads of its Private Client Group and advisor channels. One keynote speaker was historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin.