Why You Need a Financial Road Map

GlobeAt some point you said, “Here’s what I want my life to be.” College. Career. Family.

But if you’re like many women, you overlooked your financial road map.

The road map for women is different—more quirky and complex—than the one typically found in personal finance and investing guides, because women are juggling different variables.

Women live longer than men.
Women are more likely to take time out from work, or opt for part-time work.
The result: women generate less income in retirement—when they need more to cover longer lives. The median income for women 65 and older is $15,209, versus $25,409 for men. The median income for women 65 and older is $15,209, versus $25,409 for men.

This data is often portrayed as bad news. But we have a fresh take for you:

Rather than view your life cycle as a liability (silly you, taking off time for aging parents!), acknowledge that these issues create financial consequences that you can take charge of now.

What’s important to you, as you look ahead: time with the kids? going to grad school? a stint living abroad? running a side business—a full-time business?
What life events are looming? College, a parent’s illness, buying (or losing) a home, an inheritance?
Identify the financial dynamics and ways to cope: Can you save more during peak earning years, in order to afford time off? Given your goals, do you want to be more growth-oriented—with your career, your investments, both?

Your financial road map isn’t set in stone; it’s meant to be tweaked. But these fundamentals will get your motor started.

Get in gear. What surprised you about this exercise?

photo source: sigdesigns’ shop on etsy

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