Financial fears can paralyze anyone from making a decision about money, but for many women, money matters are particularly petrifying. According to a GOBankingRates study, women are more likely than men to name “living paycheck to paycheck” as their number one financial fear.1 So, why all the fear? What’s holding women back? Here are five of the most common financial fears that affect women when it comes to money and ways to overcome them.
1. The Fear They Won’t Be Taken Seriously
Many women still see investing and money management services as an industry geared towards men. This view can leave women feeling intimidated and concerned about how financial professionals will treat them. The good news is that their fears are often unfounded, but women may feel more confident by learning more about finances or by working with a female financial advisor.
2. The Fear of Running Out of Money
Both men and women are afraid of outliving retirement savings, but women find it a much more pressing concern for one simple reason: women tend to outlive men by as much as five years. This means women, on average, will require almost a fifth more in their nest eggs than their male spouses. Women who think that they don’t have a significant retirement fund may want to work longer and wait until they are entitled to receive their maximum Social Security benefits before retiring. And don’t forget, a longer life means mean potentially higher healthcare costs overall.
3. The Fear of Losing a Spouse
Losing a spouse is devastating for anyone, but the death of a spouse can have severe financial repercussions. Even if your spouse wasn’t the primary earner, it’s likely that you depend on both of your incomes to maintain your standard of living. Women can ease their economic apprehension by getting involved in money matters as soon as possible.
The first step is finding out about all the family’s accounts and investments, and ensuring both partners have full access. It also may be worth considering life insurance, but that depends on your overall financial goals and life stage. Some experts suggest having a minimum policy that can cover between 6 to 10 times what would be the lost annual earnings, plus enough money to pay off any outstanding debts.
4. The Fear of Losing a Home
It is hard for anyone to imagine losing their home after a lifetime of living as middle-class, but it can happen. That is why it is smart to consider what your longer-term debt pay off strategy is for the mortgage. Is it aggressively paying it down to become mortgage-free near retirement or sooner? But it is important to be aware that while a home is an investment, the upkeep of the home is a financial drain and requires a lot more maintenance than many realize. Older homeowners may want to think about downsizing to a home which will require less expensive maintenance before it becomes an absolute necessity.
5. The Fear of Having to Pay For Your Kids Forever
There is no getting around the fact that having children is expensive, but being a great mom shouldn’t mean paying the kids’ bills forever. Parents need to know that setting boundaries when it comes to providing financial support for adult children is healthy, and in the long run, the right choice for everyone. It is also important to balance your own savings for the future with any other goals for the kids while they are growing such as education funding.
Money is a complicated topic, and one of the best ways to ease fears associated with it is to talk with a professional money advisor who can create a personal plan to give you confidence and peace of mind.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.