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Women and money Ditch the jargon chuck the charts

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Women and money: Ditch the jargon, chuck the charts MADISON (12/1/10)--As more women seek financial advice, financial planners are realizing the sexes require very different approaches: Women want advice that fits their style and needs, and they want it in plain English (Baltimore Sun Nov. 19). Women face unique challenges: typically lower wages, time out of the work force to raise children or care for older relatives, lower participation rates in pension plans, and longer life expectancy. As a result, many women experience a savings shortfall. Almost 40% of women have only $50,000 or less saved in all of their household retirement accounts combined, according to the 11th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey released in August. Yet, the nearly 1,800 American working women responding to the survey estimate needing a median amount of $500,000 to achieve a secure retirement. Despite the challenges, the survey also revealed that women want information and advice so they can make their own decisions about saving and investing for retirement. While half of women are not confident in their ability to retire comfortably, they know--and have voiced--what they need to improve their chances of financial security (Businesswire.com Aug. 31). So how do men and women differ in how they prefer to receive financial advice? Many financial professionals have made these observations:
* Men are comfortable with financial jargon. Women prefer plain English. * Men tend to make quick decisions. Women take more time and gather more information before acting. * Men like charts and beating benchmarks. Women want to know what those numbers mean for them. Can they retire early? Remodel the kitchen or bedroom? * Men are comfortable calling someone they met once or twice to ask for business advice. Women won’t call unless there is a deeper connection, and they prefer to learn in a group and discuss their views on money.
Women--listen up. Find a financial planner who listens, shows empathy, and explains financial matters in clear terms. Demand that your planner help you find creative solutions to your financial problems. If you’re not satisfied in the initial interview, find someone else. For more information, read, “Give financial planners a once-over before hiring,” in Home & Family Resource Center.