Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
Recently I posed a question to the women in my networking group and I was overwhelmed by the emotional intensity of the responses.
Let me ask you the same question:
What do you believe is one of the greatest obstacles women face today on the road to financial independence and wealth?
Hereís what the group answered:
A Wealth Obstacle:
A few years ago Yale and Harvard Business Schools did a survey of their female graduates. They found that a majority of these women were not employed full time 10 to 20 years after graduation. Many of the graduates had chosen to stay at home and raise their families. Itís become known as the ďMommy Track.Ē
Often, women are losing career and financial momentum to stay home with their children. For many women this is a huge financial set back. In fact as a whole, women who chose the mommy track had fewer job and career options even when they did decide to go back into the workforce.
Here are a few ďtruthsĒ and lessons Iíve gathered over the years:
~ Because of gaps in employment and/or lower wages, women have less or no money in pension plans, retirement accounts and other long-term benefits.
~ Often, when women chose to return to work after months or years home with children, they found the job opening choices few and far between. They were often faced with settling for lower paying positions.
~ Because of an increasing divorce rate, many women are returning to the workforce with the added stress of being a single parent.
Planning ahead and being proactive financially could take some of the pressure off of parenthood.
Some Smart Solutions:
~ Itís never too early to begin working with a financial advisor. Talking to an advisor while youíre still in school or just beginning your career is a smart way to plan for the future. Share your plans, hopes and dreams. A financial planner can help you anticipate the challenges and prepare for obstacles.
~ Maximize your health insurance benefits. Shop around for health insurance that will best meet your needs and the needs of the family. Consult a health insurance professional. The money you save annually on health expenses could be invested or placed in savings.
~ Check into the feasibility of disability insurance. You can purchase disability insurance on your own. Check to see if it covers pregnancy.
~ Remember life insurance. A financial planner can help you figure out how much life insurance will best fit your family situation. There are many different types of policies so read and ask questions.
~ Take it easy on spending! Set a budget and stick to the budget. Include some type of savings plan for the future, even if itís just the change at the bottom of your purse. Every cent begins to add up.
~ Can you work from home? How about a home-based business?
~ Keep current in your field. Network with other mothers who are in the same profession or field. Form a playgroup. Then, when youíre ready to return to work, youíll be up on whatís new. With the Internet, itís easier to stay current and in touch.
~ Be open to new ideas. Listen to your banker, financial advisor and the other money professionals in your life. Be wise and do your homework.
~ Stay on top of your finances. Donít allow other people to solely manage your financial life. Know where all your accounts are located, know the balances and know where to find important papers.
The mommy track may slow down wealth building temporarily but it doesnít have to completely disrupt your plans for an abundant and wealthy future. With smart planning and support from money professionals, motherhood can be not only emotionally rewarding but financially secure also.
You may be interested in visiting these "offsite" websites:
(Financial Planning Association)
(Provides advice on motherhood, money and careers for working moms)