Financial planning can be daunting for anyone. For women, it can be even more challenging, given the added demands of juggling working and family life.

Women’s investment needs tend to center around these common themes:

  • Wealth is the means to an end, not an end.
  • Values factor into investment decisions.
  • Women want the facts and are more risk-averse.

When we look at the facts, we see that:

  • According to a 2019 UBS survey, women across generations, from baby boomers to millennials, tend to defer their family finances to men. Although that same survey shows a growing number of women taking the lead in the younger generations.
  • Women tend to live longer and earn less than men. So, while making their money last should be an even greater priority than for men, looking at their financial future often competes with day-to-day pressures.

It’s important for women to not only have the tools to take the reins on their finances but to also have their views and values factored into their financial decisions.

We’ve asked two experienced advisors, Stacey Gauthier and Catrina Roth, to share how women can get the most out of their financial planning journey. Stacey and Catrina are both investment advisors for Servus Wealth Strategies and Credential Securities and are based in southern Alberta. They regularly advise women on how to create successful financial plans.

So, what exactly can women do to get their financial planning journey on track?

Get to know your goals

“I always tell them this is the dream plan, so tell me what you want.” Says Gauthier.

The most important thing a woman can do is to get to know her goals — on her own, from her point of view.

Even for women in relationships, it’s important to lay out their own goals before discussing with their partner. This helps both partners have an equal voice when discussing their finances and lets their advisor consider both of their aspirations when creating their plan.

“We ask couples how they feel, because a lot of times with estate planning, for example, one of them wants to leave a legacy and the other wants to spend it,” says Gauthier. “they’re not on the same page.”

Ad asking "How should your wealth grow? Get tailored, expert advice for achieving your goals. Start planning." on the left side there is a tree and a watering can.

Set a schedule

It’s important when planning to recognize that circumstances can change, shifting even the best-laid plans. But taking the time to check in on your goals and where you’re at, will prepare you and help make for a smoother journey in the long run.

The earlier you can start planning the better, but it’s never too late to start and setting a monthly or quarterly check-in on your own, with your partner or with your advisor can keep your finances on track.

Find an advisor

“It’s a balancing act: career, motherhood, family, friends, and other obligations. So, giving women the professional advice to help them navigate their personal finances is key to the success of their overall plan,” says Roth.

Women are also likely, at some point in their lives, to be the sole financial planner. So, it’s especially important for them to have an advisor who can be a steady hand in helping them achieve their goals.

“It is time-consuming in that you have to learn how to manage your money, but you have the resources with financial experts. We can give them back some of their time and work on the plan for them.” says Gauthier.

Remember, your financial journey should steer toward your ideal destination. It’s not necessarily about how much you’re making now; it’s more about making the right decisions with the money you have so you can get to where you want to go.

If you're ready to get started, you can request to have an advisor follow up with you or check out the advisors in your area

Mutual funds, other securities and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Securities. Credential Securities is a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Credential Securities is a registered mark owned by Aviso Wealth Inc. Financial planning services are only available from advisors who hold a financial planning accreditation through applicable regulatory authorities.