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Her Money, Her Investments

Kanan Sachdeva, Northwestern Mutual

Faced with student loans and with an eye toward owning a new car or a first home, it’s not surprising that many twenty-something women think saving for “old age” can wait for just that, an older age.  But the need is more urgent.  Any woman who wants to secure her future needs to begin today by taking time to consider investments and retirement planning.

Historically, the financial services industry has been slow to view women as viable customers, preferring to target the traditional male investor.  But, this mindset is changing with more companies recognizing the role women play in making financial decisions.

Getting on track for saving

Even though more women than ever are working and building their financial independence, many still depend on their husband’s income and investment expertise for their financial well-being.  However, divorce or death can quickly change that situation.  A discouraging thought since it’s widely known that about half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce.

The average woman can expect to live to age 80.2, which is 6.8 years longer than a man.1 Add to that the fact that in our society today, experts say, for the first time, more women are living without a husband than with one.2

Smart choices for the future

No matter your age, here are basic steps for building a financial strategy that will move you closer to self-reliance:

1.    Establishing solid goals.  Be it a dream home on a lake or a comfortable condo in the city, concrete objectives give you something tangible to strive for and make it easier to assign a price tag to goals.  Establish your goals, set a time frame, list the steps you need to get there, and implement your plan.  Start now.

2.    Assessing your financial position.  Take a critical look at finances, especially with regard to life goals.  Consider asking an objective outside financial professional for help in calculating where you stand.  Know what investments you have and how much they are worth.  Estimate how much you will have saved by retirement and how long that will last you based on your lifestyle. 

3.    Seek out good financial guidance.  Look for information wherever available and never hesitate to ask questions.

4.    Create a solid portfolio.  Young investors should start as soon as possible to research financial information and start saving.  Even seemingly small amounts of saving now can help build future stability and eventual wealth.

5.    Team up with a financial professional you can trust.  Women who are unfamiliar with the financial products available should team up with a financial professional they can trust. 

For both women and men, it pays to create a clear vision of one’s financial future; both in terms of a better-focused, less stressful today and a comfortable, more prosperous tomorrow.  

1. Statistical Abstract, 2009; www.census.gov. Printed copies available upon request.

2. Sam Roberts, “51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse” New York Times, published January 16, 2007.

(Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Kanan Sachdeva. Kanan Sachdeva is a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (Northwestern Mutual) (NM) and its affiliates. Kanan Sachdeva is an insurance agent of NM based in Southborough, MA. To contact Kanan Sachdeva, please call (781) 248-8640, e-mail kanan.sachdeva@nmfn.com or visit nmfn.com/kanansachdeva. )

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