When it comes to money, women are different.

We are different because we still only earn around 80 cents for every dollar men earn. We are different because we are still the ones likely to take time-outs from work to care for children or aging parents. We are different because we live an average seven years longer than men do. Combine all of those facts and you come to understand that because of the wage gap and the breaks when women get to the end of our careers we typically have significantly less in our 401(k)s and retirement accounts than men do – and that we need to make that money last considerably longer.

We are different in the things that we’re concerned about. We are, research has shown, more concerned than men about the economic issues of the world – and the smaller, more personal economies of our families. We are more concerned about seeing that our children and grandchildren go to college, and we want to see them grow up to be both financially savvy and independent. We are concerned about leaving a legacy – not just for our families but also for the world. And, we’re more concerned with shoring up an income stream for our retirements – to make sure that our money lasts as long as we do, even if we live a lot longer than we expect.

And we are different in the way we approach money. The oft-stated maxim that women shy away from risk is less true today than it has ever been in the past. We understand that an appropriate amount of risk may be necessary to grow our investments for the future. Yet, we prefer to do our homework, taking our time until we have all the information we need before making a decision. And though some of us are coming to the party late, we enjoy talking about it and learning about it. In fact, recent research has shown that 9 out of 10 women want to learn more about financial planning and 8 in 10 want to learn more about – and get more involved in – our investing strategies. 

"...We’re more concerned with shoring up an income stream for our retirements – to make sure that our money lasts as long as we do, even if we live a lot longer than we expect."    

As we have come to understand the ways women are different, it’s also become clear that we need specifically crafted, up-to-date strategies and information to help us achieve our financial goals. Whether you’re focused on saving enough to make sure that you can retire when you want to, investing for your short-, medium- and long-term goals, protecting the financial life you’re building or making your money last as long as you do, you need a road map. How else can you be expected to get from wherever you are today to where you’d like to be in the future? The same is true if you’re looking for a strategy that will enable you to work into your retirement years (perhaps doing something that’s more of a calling for you than just a job) or simply trying to align the way you’re using your money with your values as you live day-to-day.

Jackson and the Financial Freedom Studio commissioned this series of articles with your needs in mind. Reading them is step one. Acting on them? Well, that will follow.

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Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

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