DENVER, Colo. – Women: how financially fit are you?
You’ve heard the statistic that women earn 80 cents to every dollar a man earns … that comes out to $430,000 less over a lifetime. If a man is your plan for financial freedom, you might want to rethink that. The average age for people going through their first divorce is 30 years old, and 40% of women older than 65 are widows.
Women are 80% more likely to be impoverished in retirement.
Nicole Hastings plays the role of mom and dad for her three kids. She wants to wise up now so she doesn’t go broke later.
“It wasn’t really in the plan to marry someone with stage four lung cancer,” said Hastings.
First came the twins, Jack and Foster, but it was the youngest, Charlotte, that gave Phil a reason to live.
“He just wanted to see her be born,” said Hastings.
Phil passed away two weeks later, leaving Nicole with no savings, no insurance, and a residential window cleaning business she had no idea how to manage.
“I really did feel like I was in the dark,” Hastings told Ivanhoe.
“My mother ended up with a $542 social security check, a mortgage, and no life insurance,” said Jeannette Bajalia, financial planner and president and founder of Woman’s Worth.
Bajalia dedicates her life to helping women create a life plan, not just a financial plan.
“You’ve got to talk about the ugly realities of life,” said Bajalia, saying that 80% of women die single and 80% of men die married. “Women need to be concerned with, how am I going to live? How do I keep from being a burden on my children?
Her top tip?
“Know what you have and know where the money is,” Bajalia told Ivanhoe.
Figure out a monthly budget and pay yourself first. Then spend on children and parents. And never defer any financial decision making to anyone.
“I am still dealing with millennials who are thinking that a man is a plan,” said Bajalia.
Left with only a 1999 van to her name, Nicole gave up on the business and moved in with parents. Today she and the kids live on $1,600 a month.
“I do freelancing. I do DoorDash. I do Instacart. I clean houses. I work part-time at Starbucks,” said Hastings, who tells other women to always be involved in all aspects of their financial life.
Bajalia says it’s never too early or too late to start planning for the future. Find yourself a like-minded advisor who speaks the financial language of women. Also, improve your financial literacy. Take one financial concept a month and learn about it.