Women and Finance
Oh, the dreaded “f” word.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always hated
that time of year when I had to decide what type of funds to
invest my retirement account in.
Believe me, I’d rather have a root canal sans Novocain
than have to spend time studying return rates and interest yields.
Why is it so many of us shudder at the thought of making
our own financial decisions? Is it that many of us grew up in homes where those decisions
were made by the male head of the household? Were money matters considered inappropriate dinner
conversation? Or is
it that on top of handling our own careers, women are still
responsible for running 90% of the household, and if it weren’t
for financial decisions and lawn care, our spouses would have
nothing to occupy their time?
True, in the past there were very few
resources that were “female friendly” just as there were few
car salesman capable of selling an automobile to a woman without
talking down to her. But, my fellow financial fraidy cats, help has arrived.
More and more marketing and investment firms are
recognizing the need to target the ever increasing numbers of
women in today’s workforce and have created resources to help
take the fear out of finances.
Some of these resources include:
- this website is designed especially for women and includes
articles on investing, managing debt, getting a mortgage,
financial calculators, financial glossary, you name it they have
it, right down to what questions to ask when buying a used car.
investing; learn mutual funds, personal financial planning,
investment books, loan calculator, and retirement & mortgage
- this website contains not only financial and investment
information, but also information on balancing work and home,
personal growth, and legal issues such as preparing a will.
It would be impossible to discuss every topic
here, so we’ve chosen a few that we felt would be of interest to
Where there’s a will…
really need an attorney to write your will? Yes, and here’s why.
Don’t Have a Will
without a will, your immediate family members will be entitled to
control and receive your property. That may be okay. However, you
need to understand that laws controlling who will inherit your
property may change. Two recent changes in Colorado include:
- If you’re married and have
children (with no children from a previous marriage or
relationship), your spouse will receive all of your property.
- If you are married and have no
children, your property may be divided between your spouse and
Can a Will Do?
people have a misconception that you only need a will if you have
a lot of money. That’s not true. A properly drafted will
includes a clearly stated designation of the estate’s
representative. If applicable, the will also should have
designation of a guardian for minor children, establishment of
special trusts for minor children, designations of desired
charitable gifts, or specific gifts of items to certain
addition, if you (and your spouse, if you’re married) have
assets (including life insurance and retirement funds) of more
than $625,000, proper estate planning can minimize the amount of
estate (inheritance) taxes. In essence, a well written will can
help ensure that your property, regardless of the amount, goes to
the right people at the right time in the right proportions.
out-of-date will, however, can result in numerous problems and
unintended results. In fact, an old will may be more dangerous
than not having a will at all. Therefore, changes in tax laws,
marriage, divorce, the birth of children and an increase in net
worth are all reasons to have a will reviewed by a knowledgeable
Should Write Your Will?
attorney who is educated in estate planning is the best person to
write your will. Because a will is a legal document, it’s best
prepared by an attorney who can identify and understand the legal
and tax issues involved with your particular situation.
will forms and computer programs should be avoided. You get what
you pay for, and only a qualified estate-planning lawyer can
correctly prepare a will that complies with applicable Federal tax
laws and state statutes.
estate planning includes an overall analysis of how you want your
assets to be owned, managed and preserved during your lifetime and
how you want them distributed upon death. A well-crafted plan can
minimize taxes and other costs. It also includes planning for
possible mental or physical incapacity.
and financial powers of attorney enable you to decide in advance
who will make decisions if you are unable to make them.