On March 8, we celebrated International Women’s Day and we #BreakTheBias (I just had to–I’m loving this year’s campaign theme!).
We can all agree that these biases against us women are still very present in our communities, in universities, in the workplace, even in politics, and this is despite the fact that there always have been calls to, well, break the bias. And I’m not only talking about the fact that women have long been treated unfairly; I’m also referring to all these preconceived notions and stereotypes society has of women.
That women are too emotional. That women should stay at home. That women are not natural leaders. That women are not supposed to be independent… financially independent even more so.
Now, of course, we all know that there is no truth to all of these ideas, but I’m here to focus more on that last bit.
With Women’s Day fast approaching, it’s definitely the perfect time to show that women are just as able to secure their financial future as men are (if not better!). Women don’t need anyone but themselves to rule and reach their financial goals, and these goals are better and effectively achieved through–yup, you guessed it–estate planning!
Why is this important to me?
There are plenty of reasons why everyone should get an estate plan (peace of mind, security, protection–you already know!), but for women in particular, estate planning is an especially necessary tool given the numbers.
What numbers, you ask?
I’m talking about lifespan–women’s longevity in numbers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 figures show that the average American man will live up to 76, and the average American woman up to 81. Women’s longer life expectancy just means they are usually and more likely to find themselves unmarried, divorced, or widowed!
An updated, well-prepared estate plan, for certain, prepares and provides for all these possible contingencies. Talk about security!
Am I ready for this?
YES, you are! Having had the opportunity to talk to many, I know where the hesitations are coming from, and let me tell you: NO, you’re not too young (there’s no age requirement!) and NO, you don’t have to be a certain level of rich (there’s no minimum net worth either!) to get an estate plan.
If you would recall our discussion on some of the most common estate planning myths (check out the first installment here!) from a while back, we have established that estate planning is so much more than just making a will. Apart from distributing properties, designating beneficiaries, deciding who gets what (the usual!), an estate plan can do a lot of things for you, such as:
Prepare for emergencies during life
Plan for end-of-life
Protect properties, both current and future (inheritance)
Nominate guardians, caregivers, trustees
Minimize taxes and other costs
Without a doubt, these matters don’t apply only to the old and wealthy. As long as you are a woman who cares about her and her loved ones’ future and finances, then you are more than ready to get a plan.
I’m down! How do I start?
It goes without saying that financial and estate planning should start with some careful consideration of one's financial goals. For instance, here’s a three-point questionnaire I like to give clients as a jumping-off point:
Where am I now financially?
Where am I headed?
Where would I want to get as far as?
Of course, you don’t have to be alone in this moving forward (or even at the outset)! Let me hear about your financial goals, and together, let us set about and build the estate plan perfect for your circumstances and needs.
Women for women. Women empowering women. Let’s make it happen!