Women and Money
Much has been written about the traditional sandwich generation, a generation of people responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child, and about one-in-seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child1.
Gender equality in the workforce is not a new topic, but one that requires persistent discussion and influence in an effort to close the gap that stubbornly remains. Much of the focus is on compensation differences as well as the lack of equal opportunity in leadership positions. The social aspect can overtake the resulting dilemma that women face in retirement. In a report published last year1, TIAA outlined the many challenges women face in retirement as a result of earning less, working less, taking less investment risk, and living longer.
Recently at a family reunion, I overheard my niece Brittany explaining to my daughters that she often says, “Thank you Past Brittany!” That got my attention. She went on to describe how she often runs across a situation that is going smoothly for her only because she had prepared for it in the past. She says to herself, “Thank you Past Brittany!”
My sister in law is an Emergency Room nurse. Our conversations can be odd in that when I talk finance, she wants to cover her ears. When she talks medical, I do the same. Even though I often try not to listen to her stories, her words have gotten through and I’ve learned an important lesson. Life can be random and we never know when we are living our last day. It was she who taught me to always say “I love you” when one of my family members leaves the house. In fact, it’s become such a routine in our household our youngest will essentially shout “I love you!” as she flies out the door but won’t actually leave until she hears it said back to her.
Today, there are more successful, wealthy women in America than at any time in our history. This growing trend might lead you to believe that women are feeling confident and in control of their financial futures.