By: Linda Jacobson

For the past ten years my practice has focused on women. I believe that a very important part of their whole health is directly related to their financial health. As women we most often don’t take our long term financial planning seriously. We are busy! We focus on everyone and everything around us making sure we fulfill the role of family engineer – caring for children or grandchildren, or parents, paying the bills, cooking the food, being a taxi driver. The majority of us have busy professional lives with continually increasing demands. We find some time for church and social activities. We need our network of girlfriends but due to lack of time we too often have to text, twitter or tweet! Thank goodness that we now have Kindles on our purses – an extra five minutes between appointments and we can read!! Why, we wonder, are we so exhausted? When are we supposed to find the time to plan what we want our retirement to look like?

To some women the idea of looking closely at their long term personal finances is just too overwhelming. Have you ever thought about defining what the “life you love to live” is? Is it different from the life you have now? Is it just like the life you have now? Wealth is not just about money. It is about the quality of your life.

Here are a couple of documented reasons as to why you might want to take some steps towards that goal: 80 – 90% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives—mainly due to divorce and the fact that, on average, women outlive men by five years. (National Center for women and Retirement Research, 1996) An average Social Security check per month is $1,076 for men versus $826. for women. (Social Security Administration) When you factor in that the average woman is expected to live 87 years, we begin to understand just how long our money must last during retirement.

The cover story on the October 2010 issue of Smart Money Magazine from the Wall Street Journal is Why Women Get a Raw Deal on Retirement. The article on page 50 by Reshma Kapadia is titled The Forgotten Majority. It is a very direct and concise picture of the risks facing women during their retirement. Cindy Hounsell, President of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement says, “Millions of women are going to lose their standard of living unless they take hold of the situation” …This article will answer some of your questions or help you to know some of the questions you should ask. It also points out some of the positive and negative aspects of the financial services industry and what you should look for in a financial professional.

“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”
——-Belva Davis
(First female African American Television reporter on the West Coast)

My purpose today is to encourage you to take action for your financial future. How do you start? If you do not already have a financial professional to talk with consider putting that on the top of your to do list this week. Connect with someone who will invest the time needed to build a trusting relationship with you. Together you can then focus on identifying your goals and dreams for your retirement years. This partnership can be fun. It can bring you much peace of mind. The goal is for you to have this valuable resource as a guide as your financial needs change. The ultimate goal is for you to not to outlive your money.

There are many resources for you to get the information that you need to begin or continue to pursue your dream for your retirement years.

It would be my pleasure to have a conversation with you. You can reach me by calling Capstone Consulting Group at (760) 243-2551.

Linda Jacobson
Capstone Consulting Group