Statistics tell us that women still have to take “time-outs” from their careers to have children, care for ageing parents, or manage family health emergencies.
All of this can have an impact on women’s future financial security, goals, and risk tolerance.
No one understands this better than Peterborough-based Debbie Smith, a Certified Financial Planner professional, mother, and grandmother.
“Women in the 45-plus demographic have money needs that differ significantly from those of men,” Debbie says. “I find that women want a financial plan — but more than that, they want a genuine relationship with their planner.”
“If they are widows or going through a divorce, they want to be educated and informed. They want to be able to make sound financial decisions, and to feel the confidence to seize any opportunities that present themselves.”
Women want to be educated and informed. They want to be able to make sound financial decisions, and to feel the confidence to seize any opportunities that present themselves.”
Debbie points out that her own path has been anything but straight, and yet it’s prepared her well to help other women.
Her history includes a major time-out to return to university when her youngest son was two — so that she could earn a longed-for degree in sociology — and eight years helping her husband to build a successful local busines
“After building Signarama, together with my husband Morgan, from $400,000 in revenues to over $2 million annually, I understand the challenges, the time, and the effort that goes into owning and operating a successful business,” she says.
After all that time spent learning the basics of running a business, Debbie answered an inner nudge and stepped away to restart her own career on a completely new path: financial planning for women.
She relates strongly to the needs of women who come to her for help and guidance with their finances.
And the reality for women continues to differ, Debbie observes. She cites statistics that, due to taking time off to have children and to care for elder parents, women only work 75 per cent of the years that men work but spend 28 per cent longer in retirement — while living 4.1 years longer.
“This sometimes creates lower incomes, fewer investments, and lower CPP contributions,” she says.
Women want a financial plan to help them deal with that reality and life’s surprises such as illness or divorce, she notes, or guidance on vitally important choices such as insurance and power of attorney.
Debbie says that, even if women are handling a healthy inheritance or the benefits of a life insurance policy from a deceased spouse, there can still be special challenges.
For example, a significant number of baby boomers are in danger of using up their money to help their children buy homes or meet expenses — thereby putting their own future security at risk.
A 2017 survey found one quarter of boomers are providing financial support to either their children or grandchildren. Two thirds say this is preventing them from saving enough for their own retirement, and more than a half report feeling financially stressed as a result.
“Whether independent or in a relationship, women benefit from taking control of their finances,” Debbie explains.
“Increased longevity means more and more women are controlling a majority of the wealth, and it is expected they will continue to do so. I can help them create their financial safety net and maintain their independence so that they can concentrate on enjoying life.”
This is a general source of information only. It is not intended to provide personalized tax, legal or investment advice, and is not intended as a solicitation to purchase securities or insurance. Debbie Smith is solely responsible for its content.
Debbie Smith, B.A., CFP, RRC, works with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. at 1743 Lansdowne Street West in Peterborough. For more information on this topic or any other financial matter, call 705-876-1282, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit advisor.investorsgroup.com/en/debbie_smith. You can also connect with Debbie on LinkedIn and Facebook.