Own Your Role as a Money Maven

Carolyn Leonard Personality, Relationship Leave a Comment

Definition of Maven: One who is experienced or knowledgeable.

Do you think of yourself as a money expert? Do you think of yourself as knowledgeable about money matters?

Most women think that others are experts or knowledgeable about money but they don’t view themselves as experts. This is a misperception! Women make most of the money decisions for their families and even the extended family. Many of my friends are helping their parent make financial decisions on health care and senior housing.

According to a Nielsen study, “Women have tremendous spending power in America today—and it’s growing. Market estimates about their total purchasing power varies, ranging anywhere from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually. And the scope of that spending is notably vast. Fleishman-Hillard Inc. estimates that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history—compelling insight for anyone curious about who’s keeping the U.S. economy going these days.”

$5 trillion to $15 trillion of purchasing power is a lot of buying, decision making and allocating of resources. Women are the drivers of all that activity and each purchase is a decision. So, when you think you aren’t a maven or knowledgeable about money you are disregarding the financial decisions you make on a daily basis.

Do you wonder what it would take for you to think of yourself as a money expert or maven? Would it be a degree in finance? Would you have to be a CPA, Registered Financial Analyst, an economist? For me, it took awareness that I was making multiple money decisions every day. Often I was the primary decision maker on big ticket items like the car, education and housing. I gave myself credit for what I was doing. If we learn through experience I was very experienced.

The number of women who are the primary breadwinner is rising. Currently the mother is the primary breadwinner in 4 out of 10 American households with children under 18 years of age. Having responsibility for supporting their families, planning for retirement, education for their children and saving for unexpected expenses is exhausting to think about, no less do.

Women need to be saving about 18% of their income for retirement! Women tend to work 28 years compared to 38 years for a man. Women leave the work force to be caregivers to children and parents, leaving us with fewer working years to save for our retirement. We pay a big penalty for stepping away. Women earn 78 cents to every dollar a man makes. The pay gap is in part because we are timid in negotiating pay and salary raises. We tend not to work the 80-hour a week job and many enter fields that have lower wages. We also need to increase the allocation of stock in our portfolios. Women have only 46% of their accounts in stock versus men who have a 56% stock allocation.

We want you to own your role as a Money Maven and to:

  • Work to increase your retirement savings to 18%
  • Increase your stock allocation to 56% today
  • Start to put your needs and best interest near to top of your “to do” list