Why Women Need an Approach of Their Own – Excerpt from Money Smart Manitoba podcast

Your financial plan should work for you even if your circumstances change and everyone, especially women, should have the confidence to act on that plan. That’s our mission. So we have a natural affinity for organizations like Money Smart Manitoba, a place where Manitobans can grow their financial knowledge.

Leslie McCormick, the co-author of Bank On Yourself and the driving force behind the Plan Single community, spoke at a book launch event that was captured for the money Smart Manitoba podcast. Here is a brief excerpt from her talk. You can hear the full episode at https://www.moneysmartmanitoba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/MoneySmart-Manitoba-Podcast-March-2020.mp3

My very first interview related to the book was with a columnist from a national newspaper. And the question that he asked me was don’t financial planning principles apply equally to men and women? Really what he was asking me was why do women need their own financial planning book?

My response was that while planning principles apply to everyone, the circumstances we need to plan for are different. Ninety percent of women will be solely responsible for their finances due to divorce, widowhood, or having never married at all. And it is a growing trend whether by choice or circumstance About half of marriages end in divorce. Cohabitating couples have a separation rate about five times that of married couples. There is widowhood. Want to take a guess at the average age that a woman in Canada becomes a widow? Fifty-six. There are four widows for each widower. A baby boomer woman can expect to outlive her spouse by 10 to 15 years. More recently, some experts are pushing that to 15 to 20. Now, does anyone want to take a guess how much on average a widow’s income drops after losing her spouse? Forty percent.

Women's’ circumstances are different. We live longer. The fastest-growing demographic in Canada is those over age 100. And there are five females for every male. Other factors: there’s the wage gap. Our lives cost more. I know my haircuts cost more than my husband’s. Women’s healthcare costs more. And there are the years out of the workforce.

Those circumstances and those risks make it even more important for women to work to achieve a lifetime of financial independence. Regardless of their marital status today. And because whatever it is today, it may change in the future.

Yet we have this confidence gap. One survey found that just 31% of women say they are confident in their financial knowledge. While 80% of men say the same. Now, maybe it’s that men overstate their confidence. Maybe we don’t give ourselves enough credit. But regardless of how you ask the question that gap in confidence stay stubbornly the same. Working to close this gap in confidence is my mission. I’m really excited to be here and I’m really excited about the work that Money Smart Manitoba is doing. Because we do have a lot of work to do. And we are capable of being confident. It’s taking the right steps to get there.

Learn more about MoneySmart Manitoba here: https://www.moneysmartmanitoba.ca/

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