Why The Rules of Money are Different for Women

Anyone who says women don’t need financial strategies specifically for them is wrong. Women have traditionally been more vulnerable financially, whether we’re caretakers or the head of household. While we women face a unique set of financial challenges, our capacity for emotional strength as we endure life transitions positions us to weather financial storms…if we are awake and taking care of our best interests. Here are some statistics and scenarios that reveal why the Rules of Money are different for women and why women should approach money with eyes wide open.

Did You Know?

  • Until 1975, single, divorced or widowed women in the U.S. needed a man to co-sign their credit card applications.
  • In the 70’s, in some cases, women had to present a doctor’s note proving that they were using contraceptives before they could qualify for a mortgage loan (the logic was that if they didn’t have babies, they wouldn’t quit their jobs).
  • In a recent firestorm of bad PR, the wives of Steve Wozniak and another wealthy man learned that their wives were given significantly lower limits on their new Apple Cards, despite sharing finances and filing joint tax returns. Wozniak said he and his wife report the same income and have a joint bank account, which should mean that lenders view them as equals. It was blamed on an algorithm issue.
  • Even today, too many married women over 40 have abdicated long-term financial management to their male spouses. You are vulnerable if you’re not participating and aware.
  • It wasn’t until 2013 that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urged banks and credit card issuers to consider shared incomes in order to make it easier for stay-at-home spouses to qualify for cards.
  • Women are the sole source of income in 40% of all households and are vulnerable to rising housing and child care costs.
  • The #1 predictor of whether a woman will declare bankruptcy in her life is whether or not she has children.
  • Women are launching 1200 businesses a day, 1.5 times faster than men but are failing even faster.
  • While women are starting businesses in record numbers, in 2016 they received just over 2% of investor and venture capital funding.
  • Women entrepreneurs don’t have the access to funding contacts that men do, and women can face a disparity in funding questioning compared to male counterparts.
  •  In a new survey published Tuesday, 36 percent of retirees said it wasn’t their decision to retire as early as they did; 18 percent cited health reasons, while 9 percent said it was because they had lost their job and couldn’t find another. Single women & single moms who can’t work can be more vulnerable due to lower retirement savings accumulation.

An inconvenient truth.

The inconvenient truth is that our privileged lives don’t shield us from partners leaving or dying, by our bodies surprising us with a cancer diagnosis or another health issue, or from a workplace downsizing. If you know me you know I’m an optimist by nature, so these little stories aren’t meant to bring us down, they are simply meant to awaken us and lift us up. When we “live awake” to our circumstances and reach out to gain knowledge and organize our money lives, we live strong and empowered.

True stories about women I know…

  • Carol’s family was moving to another state. She wanted to be there together to look for a house to fit their family of four. Her husband went ahead to scout and found a home he wanted. She asked for time to see more options. He bought the home against her will and without her permission. As a stay at home Mom, she had no choice but to go along with the decision. That financial betrayal by her husband was the nail in their marriage coffin. They’re now divorced and spending money on lawyers since he’s not helping with mounting child care costs.
  • Linda is a 40-something self-employed hair stylist. She’s a mother of three in a two-income household. Out of the blue she was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t work for six months. Luckily for her and her family, she had always believed in a “life happens’ fund and had set aside six months of living expenses, which covered her lost revenue for six months. She’s back at work and thriving, since she was able to focus all her energies on her cancer treatment and recovery without worrying about money!

Now you likely see why the rules of money for women are simply different. If you’re not already part of my community, I invite you to sign up here to receive money mastery tips, resources, and coaching opportunities from yours truly. I’m here as your ally. Let’s move forward….together!

Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell is a financial coach who helps women take charge of their money and create a path to financial freedom…on their terms. Elizabeth’s approach to feminine money mastery includes a step by step, holistic approach that helps her clients discover a capacity to learn the language of money, create financial and life goals, and make smart financial decisions today for a worry-free, beautiful future.

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