Helping baby boomer widows get the financial advice and support they need

04 September 2016

Helping baby boomer widows get the financial advice and support they need - Article 1

All across the world, women enjoy longer life spans and live on average 5% longer than men.

According to the world health statistics – The gap between male and female life expectancy is greater in high-income countries, such as Australia, where women live around six years longer than men.

So what does this remarkably consistent survival advantage of women mean for women and their finances?

It means that chances are, they will be left alone to manage their finances without the support of their husbands in the final years of their lives.

This can be a very scary situation especially since, among married women, only 11% of Boomers are reported as the primary financial decision makers throughout their married life, compared to 22% of Gen X and 38% of married Millennial women.

Suzanne Alexander Adv Dip(FP), a Financial Adviser at Melbourne’s Abound Financial and Lifestyle Planning who specialises in helping women with their finances, has discovered that after suffering the loss of their husband, many women are left feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of their financial situation, which now resides solely in their responsibility.

Alexander says many newly found widows quickly discover that they have multiple accounts and investments and are not sure what to do or where to begin. “They can be left feeling confused as to what account relates to which investment and in addition, they may not be aware of what investments are actually in place,” she says.

Left feeling confused, lacking in confidence and vulnerable and not wanting to be taken advantage of, studies show that women are now seeking out female financial advisers that they feel they can trust.

Alexander says older women can face losing their partners age pension (if applicable) and not knowing how they can create an income stream from current investments.

Here are key areas that Suzanne Alexander helps older women with who have recently found themselves on their own.

  • To assist in creating a level of control over their finances
  • Understanding their expenses by undertaking a budget
  • Establishing a structure to their finances so they know where everything is and it is designed appropriately for their specific situation
  • Security in knowing that their finances are being professionally managed
  • Continuation of income and sense of comfort in knowing that they will be ok financially (where projections are provided).

Suzanne also provides a personalised and on-going support program ‘Financial Fitness for Women’ ~ Advice for women wanting to gain financial independence and control of their lives, which consists of:

  • Coordinating women’s finances and making sure investments are in line with their lifestyle goals
  • Acting as someone who they can turn to who has an impartial view to their money i.e. to focus on their needs, rather than that taken by children who may see ‘their’ inheritance as something to preserve at all costs
  • Accountability coaching to track their goals

Suzanne reported, “We have clients who have stated that they couldn’t have done it without our help (manage their finances).  In particular, one client post the loss of her husband, had ‘friends’ coming to her to invest money which she was willing to do, without taking into consideration her own needs.  As a result of acting as a sounding board this didn’t go ahead, as it didn’t allow for her own financial needs to be met and at her age would have put her in a high risk position, as the business was a start-up and small businesses have such a high failure rate in Australia.”

If you are a woman who has recently found yourself on your own and would like the support of Suzanne’s financial advice, please contact her today 03 9373 3500 request an appointment or to discuss your specific needs.

Article written by: Jacqueline Pigdon, a Spiritual Life and Business Coach, author and award winning entrepreneur who specialises in coaching Financial Advisers and empowering women to create a career and lifestyle they love.

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