Most people are working toward creating an estate plan that aligns their money with what they value most in this world. They want to take care of their families, donate money to charities and causes they care deeply about, and support parts of their community they love. What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to wait until you set up your estate plan to use your money in a meaningful way. Socially responsible investing, or SRI, can help you to invest in companies or organizations that are doing good work in the world - all while still keeping you on track to reach your financial goals.

When you’re in a committed relationship, you’re going to experience disagreements. When those disagreements are about finances, it can be especially uncomfortable because we all have emotional hang ups when it comes to money. Whether one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, or you disagree about where your “extra” money from bonuses or unexpected cash windfalls should go, financial disagreements can lead to tension in your relationship. Luckily, you can move through these difficult conversations with relative ease by following a few simple steps.

Many women run their households, have built successful careers, tackle a side hustle, and are actively involved with their family, friends, and local community. It’s not a secret that women are essentially superheroes without capes! So why is it that so many women struggle to discuss their finances? According to a recent survey, 61% of women would rather discuss the details of their death than their own money. That’s a daunting statistic, especially because many women will be solely responsible for their own finances, and potentially their family’s estate, at some point during their lives.

When you work with a financial advisor, you want to make sure that the advice you receive is always in your best interest. You don’t want to jeopardize your financial plan, or your ability to earn more in the long-term because an advisor sold you a financial product that you may or may not have needed.

For many, retirement can be a challenging time. Going from your set routine and schedule to having a dramatic lack of structure in your life is jarring. Though many people have a vision for how they’d like their retirement to look, others might find that pursuing a secondary “retirement career” is the answer they’re looking for.

Much of financial planning involves preparing for the unpleasant and unexpected. Almost half of United States couples go through a divorce at some point in their lives - and it’s a difficult process both financially and emotionally. Although money may be one of the last things on your mind right now, there are a few steps to take that can help you to line up your finances when divorce is imminent, and after you go through proceedings.

If you’re a single woman without children, you may be wondering whether estate planning is something you need to be concerned about. The truth is, estate planning is something that everyone should consider, at least to some extent. When putting together your estate plan, there are two key things you need to consider:

  1. Who is going to take care of your assets when you are no longer able to do so?
  2. Who will make health related decisions if you’re unable to make them for yourself?

Life expectancy is still steadily increasing, with no signs of slowing down. Women, in particular, have seen an extending lifespan in recent years. Right now, women have an average lifespan of 81 years! As biotechnology improves, it’s very likely that people will live well into their 90’s - or even past 100 years of age. While this is an exciting thought, it does require more detailed financial planning.

The beautiful thing about retiring in today’s world is that there are no traditional expectations. As women, we are presented with countless, incredible retirement lifestyle options.

Whether you yourself are currently experiencing widowhood, or you know someone who is - I want to take a moment to acknowledge your strength. When you lose a lifelong partner, there are moments where it might feel numb, as though moving forward and creating a next-steps plan is outside of your capacity. That’s completely understandable.

Three generations of women

In most cases, there’s a motivator beyond ourselves that keeps us on track to achieve financial success: our family. We want to make sure our spouse or partner, parents, kids, and grandkids are well taken care of. More than that, we want them to experience the financial freedom to chase their goals, and to achieve big, exciting things with their lives.

You might even have an estate plan in place that provides generously for your kids, grandkids, or great grandkids. But you know what they say about best laid plans of mice and men.

Raindrops

The last thing we want to think about after a loved one passes away is identity theft. No - I’m not talking about someone stealing your identity. I’m talking about someone stealing the identity of your recently deceased loved one.

It’s upsetting to think that someone out there would actively be taking advantage of vulnerable families who have just lost a spouse, a parent, or child. Unfortunately, it happens to approximately 800,000 people each year. Identity thieves troll through obituaries and Facebook notifications and strike quickly while grieving family members are still getting the deceased’s estate in order.

A financial advisor is a professional who helps you manage your finances and investments, teaches you about important options and aids you in making smart decisions toward your overall financial goals. But did you know that in order to maintain their license, your financial advisor must pass a rigorous national examination and complete ongoing educational requirements annually? Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) and Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) must adhere to a strict code of ethics and work in the best interest of their clients, disclosing any conflicts of interest. These advisors must act as a fiduciary, and typically are paid solely from client fees and do not sell products. They truly value their relationship with you, the client.

If an elderly family member was experiencing financial abuse, would you know it? In 2016, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America completed a Safeguarding Our Seniors Study and found that 40 percent of seniors experience financial abuse more than once. Victims of elder financial abuse lose on average $36,000. Consumer Reports estimates that Americans lose up to $30 billion a year to elder financial abuse. Many of these crimes go unreported, because victims are ashamed or unable to speak up for themselves.

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