What matters most to you? The experiences we’ve had throughout our lives shape who we are, how we live, and what we believe in as adults.
Many of us grew up in homes where parenting responsibilities were not evenly distributed, with women taking on the brunt of household labor, from caring for children and aging parents to cooking and cleaning. As such, we tend to not only take on similar roles and responsibilities, but also similar values as the women who raised us. And those values tend to differ from those of our male partners.
What do those values look like?
Women often prioritize stability and security over financial gain. We tend to think about how our getting sick or injured would impact our abilities to care for others. And values and concerns like those affect our financial decisions—for better or for worse.
For example, though the vast majority of long-term care financial products are more expensive for women than they are for men, women account for 70–80 percent of long-term care insurance claims.And because women usually live longer than men, they often find themselves without the support of a spouse, and thus in need of long term-care services (and the money to cover the expense).
Does that mean purchasing a long-term care product is always the best decision if you’re a woman? Not necessarily. There are many factors to consider when investing in a particular financial product—and those factors are not always the same for women as they are for men. That’s why it’s so beneficial to have a financial advisor who has significant experience working with women.
He or she is far more likely to consider the bigger picture for women, including income, debt, retirement plans, savings, and assets. But an advisor who is truly tuned in to the needs of women will look even further, beyond a woman’s financial status and concerns, and consider the conditions of her life.
Does she have children? Are her parents alive, and is she caring for them? Is there anyone else who depends on her? What are her current and expected medical costs? With a bigger picture perspective, that advisor can create the kind of stability most women crave.
By the same token, he or she may also take into account that many of us are more likely to dismiss present needs, interests, and indulgences in service of our futures. However, a life well lived requires prioritizing both. That’s another role a good advisor experienced in working with women can play: building a strategy that allows for fulfillment today and tomorrow.
Does your advisor care about your values? To find out, ask about his or her approach to financial management, as well as the factors that will be taken into account when building your personal plan.
 Sarah Stevenson, “Paying for Senior Care: Women vs. Insurance,” Senior Living Blog, A Place for Mom, June 13, 2019, https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-3-26-women-and-long-term-care-insurance/.