Every March we have the opportunity to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women throughout history. Women have come so far over the last century both personally and professionally. Here are a few highlights of these accomplishments for women in today’s workforce.
- Women represent 40% of all breadwinners (this represents significant growth in the last six decades; 4 times as much)
- Women own 30% of all privately owned businesses
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a more impressive statistic is that women now represent a larger proportion of management and professional roles than men (52%)
Knowing all the barriers that have been broken and that continue to break, at ML&R Wealth Management, we know that women have unique needs as it relates to their financial planning and investing. There are many hurdles women face as they plan for their future. We understand that while women are accomplishing more than ever, they are still living longer, still dealing with the wage gap, still dealing with the retirement gap, and overall tend to invest differently than men. These hurdles can create a challenging dynamic that we are experienced in navigating for our clients.
This year, we asked the women of our community to send in questions they have related to their finances. Throughout the month, we answered these questions in a special blog series, “A Woman’s Guide to Investing”. We want to thank everyone for sending in their questions!
We tackled three different questions this year to help further women’s knowledge around a variety of financial planning topics that are important to all women.
Estate Planning for Blended Families
For the first question, we answered, a woman asked “I am on my second marriage and have children from a prior marriage. While I love my husband, I want to make sure the investment account I inherited from my parents goes to my adult children when I die. How do I make that happen?”
With half of all marriages ending in divorce, women are no strangers to blended families. Most of us are a part of one in some way, shape, or form. Knowing how to approach the “business” side of a blended family situation can save your beneficiaries from a lot of heartaches and unnecessary costs upon your passing. In this blog post, we explored the impact of not having a will in place for a marriage that has separate assets. If you have specific intentions for how you want your assets to pass, creating a will and establishing appropriate beneficiaries is key to making that happen.
If you want to read more on this topic, click here for the full blog post.
Maximizing Retirement Savings when a Spouse Doesn’t Have Access to a 401k
For question number two, a woman asked “My husband doesn’t have a 401k, and mine is maxed out each year; what are some good ways to save for retirement for him?”
Saving for retirement isn’t always as simple as stashing money away in a 401k. While many of us have access to a 401k or other types of employer-sponsored plans, many folks do not. If this sounds like your family’s situation, then this blog post is perfect for you to explore the best options for your spouse depending on their employment status.
We used several examples to outline the different options you might have.
- The wife maxes out the 401k and the husband stays home with the kids
- The wife maxes out the 401k and the husband is self-employed without access to a 401k plan
- The wife maxes out the 401k; the husband is employed but doesn’t have access to a 401k or other employer-sponsored plans
Fulfilling Philanthropic Desires while Maximizing Tax Benefits
Women are known for being generous with their time and money. Knowing how to give based on your financial situation is important to maximizing your philanthropic desires and maximizing your tax or estate planning benefit. With the ever-changing tax code, it is important to understand the impact of your gift on your taxes. By knowing how best to donate, you can accomplish a couple of financial planning goals. The first is that you are fulfilling your desire to give back to organizations that mean something to you. The second is that you are maximizing the tax benefit of your donation, which ultimately helps you keep more money in your pocket year in and year out.
Below are the strategies we discussed in this blog post.
- Donating Cash Directly to Charity
- Donating Non-Cash Assets
- Taking advantage of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from an IRA
- Setting up a Donor Advised Fund
- Creating a Charitable Lead Trust
- Creating a Charitable Remainder Trust
With more women giving back than ever before, knowing how to maximize your efforts so that the charities and you benefit to a greater degree is an essential first step in your overall charitable giving strategy.
The hurdles women face create a challenging financial dynamic that ML&R Wealth Management is experienced in navigating. Working with our Austin financial advisors means you are working with a wealth management firm with a deep bench of women financial advisors that are acutely aware and familiar with the needs of women as it relates to their overall financial plan. We help women build and maintain a financial plan along with assisting women to avoid common financial planning mistakes so that they can maximize their potential for success.