Whether by choice or circumstance, women often find themselves performing a one-woman show in their juggling act called life. Unfortunately, in their efforts to balance family, careers and community involvement, they often ignore an important aspect of their life: their finances. Instead of taking a hands-off approach, try these tips.
People, in general, tend to be risk averse because of their unfamiliarity with the investments and discomfort owning investments that have the potential to suffer short-term losses in value. However, when those same people become more knowledgeable about investments and how they work, they are more likely to make different investment decisions and take advantage of other investment options.
This can have a profound impact in their returns over time, which directly impacts their progress toward financial goals. Make a point to subscribe to a business magazine, read a book or identify a reputable website to learn the basics. More importantly, seek help from a financial professional to help you navigate through unfamiliar territory.
Your high school and college age children will do more to help, if you require that of them. A summer job can go a long way to pay for school clothes, band and cheerleading expenses. And merit-based scholarships are a life saver in offsetting college tuition costs. Encourage your children to take more responsibility for themselves and the things they want to do. Increasing how much you set aside for retirement now reduces your dependency on your children in retirement later.
For the mothers who work in the home, there is a retirement option for you, too. Your husband can make spousal contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA for your benefit. Doing so creates a win-win situation as it allows you to simultaneously set aside money for retirement and increase your comfort level with investing.
Taking a more active role in your finances may seem daunting to many women at first, but over time you will be amazed by your ability to add one more ball to that never-ending juggling act.
Life is a journey. Plan for it.