#EachforEqual, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, carries a lot of weight for Alana Riley, Senior Vice President, Financial Services at IG Wealth Management. “Early in my career as an advisor, I met with a couple to review their plan. It was clear to me within a few minutes that the woman had zero participation in their financial affairs. She was not involved in the monthly budget, didn’t understand the amount of debt they were carrying, and had not been an active participant in their or her own financial future. Fast-forward to present day and we see this situation less often although it’s clear we still have a long way to go. In fact, 60 per cent of women aged 45-54 still have no financial plan and that’s what IG is hoping to change.”
Women, on average, are living longer, typically shoulder responsibilities that include caring for children and parents and may be part of significant intergenerational wealth transfers impacting Canadian families. Increasingly, women are likely to become the sole financial decision-maker. These realities, coupled with more women becoming the primary breadwinners of the household, make it essential that women take the lead in managing their financial future.
Focus on Five
Taking a proactive approach to managing finances ranges from building a monthly budget, to planning for retirement, to preparing your estate plan. IG has identified five key financial areas that women should focus on as they look to build, grow and manage their wealth:
Wealth creation and preservation go hand in hand. Women need to understand how their risk profile, time horizon and asset-allocation decisions help to underpin their investment strategy.
Retirement planning is an ongoing process. It’s important to identify and forecast all sources of income in retirement and how those income streams can be used in the most tax-efficient way.
Estate planning is all about preparation. Women need to consider all the changing dynamics within their family and how those changes may affect plans for the tax-effective sharing of wealth. Now is the time to document wishes and intentions in order to provide clarity for family members and other beneficiaries.
Owning a business can create opportunities for families or business partners to share income and redistribute tax burdens in more effective ways. Deciding whether or not to incorporate, how to structure a business, and how to plan for its succession to future owners are all considerations to address now.
Women who outlive spouses and partners will oversee the transfer of wealth to future generations, including charities. A carefully constructed giving plan helps create a legacy that reflects personal values and supports a host of important causes.
Continue the conversation
Financial planning is a lifelong process that starts with an honest conversation about goals, both short and long-term. As life changes, so does the plan. Curious about a plan of your own? Why not attend one of our seminars tailored for the unique financial needs of women or set up an appointment with an IG Wealth Management Consultant today.
Stay informed and look for more ideas, insights and strategies in upcoming newsletters.