What are you doing today to get ready for your financial future? Make your tomorrow great.
Women's Money Week is coming to an end, with today, the final day, coinciding with International Women's Day. On this final day of Women's Money Week, the subject is future planning.
This is an important subject for everyone — not just women. However, there are some aspects of planning for a financial future that seem to hit women especially hard. Here are some things to consider as you build your own future:
Are You Making as Much as You Should Be?
Some estimate that a woman leaves as much as $500,000 on the table over her lifetime. The main culprit? Failure to negotiate a higher salary when starting out with work. Women start out with less pay than their male counterparts, and that lower starting salary follows them the rest of their lives.
If you could have half a million more over your lifetime, what would you do with that money? Would it help you better plan your financial future? Do the research. Know what your skills and experience are realistically worth. And don't be afraid to ask for more money.
What Do You Know about Your Financial Situation?
Even though more and more women are taking ownership of the family finances, and know what's going on with money, there are still those who don't really have an idea of what's happening. Even if you aren't the primary breadwinner in your family, you should still know about your finances. Where does the money come from, and where is it going?
Understand your family's cash flow. Know what assets are in the retirement plans you hope to live on later. Be aware of your insurance coverage. Ask to be included in financial decisions. Be a part of the process. The more you know about your financial situation, the better able you will be to plan for your financial future.
Are You Protecting Your Assets?
You also need to protect your assets. Your best asset is you. Even if you aren't actively pursuing a career right now, you should continue to invest in yourself. Learn more about money. Maintain marketable skills. Keep up with a network. Consider earning money on the side. You need to stay relevant so that you can get back in there if something happens to your life partner — or if you divorce.
Consider making sure that you have some of your own assets, just in case. While no one likes to think that a relationship with a life partner will end, it is a possibility. You don't want to hide money from your spouse, but having a cache of your own assets can be a big help in the event of an expensive relationship setback.
No matter where you stand right now, it's vital that you prepare for your financial future. The basics of saving for a rainy day, investing for retirement, and getting rid of debt are all important. However, you also need to look at your situation, and understand some of the challenges that come with it. Then you need to take the steps to protect your financial future long term.
Read more posts on future financial planning at Women's Money Week.