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Is Any Area of Financial Planning Specifically Important for Women?

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
September 17, 2014

Question: I would like to help my recently retired mother secure her future financially. Is there anything particular that applies to women when it comes to financial planning?

Answer: The only area of financial planning that applies generally more to women than to men is planning for longevity.  Women tend to live longer than men, so their financial resources must last them longer.  (this isn’t always the case, but statistically women live longer than men).  Also, women tend to be more conservative, and thus don’t take enough investment risk, and may run out of money.

More importantly, does your mother understand financial and estate planning issues?  Has she had a competent attorney prepare a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care directives and possibly a trust?  Without these, if she would become incapacitated, she would not have anyone she knows (or knew) to handle her affairs.

Does she understand financial matters, such as time value of money, costs of investments, mortgages, insurance, and banking accounts?  Do you?

If your mother was accustomed to having her spouse handling finances, then she will have a up hill battle learning how to handle what she has now.  If she handled the finances in the household, then she should have a better understanding than most men about handling her finances.

Remember that securing your financial future has nothing to do with what investments or annuities you own; it has to do with your understanding about how financial things work and don’t work.

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Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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