I’ve always enjoyed being fairly independent. It is why I always knew I’d go to college and why I never thought I’d end up staying home with my kids. It isn’t that I didn’t think I’d enjoy being a mom. I just always wanted to be able to take care of myself if anything happened to my husband.
I was a planner. A big picture thinker. It is why I paid my own way through college. Why I set up my Roth IRA when I was only 19 years old. Why my husband and I did the responsible thing and planned everything out. We followed this path at the start of our lives together:
- Graduate college
- Find jobs
- Get married
- Buy a house
- Fix up house
- Try for a baby
And this all worked great for us to start out. We weren’t dependent on anyone but ourselves and we always looked to each other when making decisions. It certainly made us feel more secure. Some things have changed such as surprised pregnancies (which were always a happy blessing) and eventually me staying home with our boys. Some things you just can’t plan for but we’ve tried to roll with them every step of the way.
Women and Finances
The one thing I’ve never considered is to not be an active participate in our finances. This is why it surprises me when I read articles like Women and finances: Growing older makes women better with money and Women’s financial power grows faster than savvy. Both suggest most women are taking a more active role in their finances as they grow older and approach widowhood. But studies still show that the majority of American women have anxiety about investing.
“A majority of study participants said household financial management is typically the husband’s role, but as a woman ages, she has a greater incentive to learn financial management tools in order to survive widowhood.”
Apparently I’m not the norm. I can’t imagine leaving all of this up to my husband and not taking an active role. With high divorce rates and the ever present “unknown” I would think it is important that all women be a part of the decision making and know where they stand financially, with or without their spouse. I can only think that some women are intimated by this.
If you find finances, especially long term goals, overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Consider finding a financial advisor with these tips from Genworth Financial.
The most intimidating things are generally those in which we feel we have limited (or no) knowledge at all. Arming ourselves with information can not only feel empowering, it can ease our fears.