- Financial planning is especially important for women, who live longer and earn less than men.
- Many women prefer female financial advisors, who can understand the unique challenges they face.
- If you’d like to work with a female financial planner, there are resources to help you find one.
- This article is part of Women of Means, a series about women taking control of their finances.
Women face unique financial challenges. They typically earn less than their male counterparts, miss more work due to family and parental responsibilities and, thanks to a longer average lifespan, also need more retirement savings.
For these reasons, a financial planner can be an extremely valuable partner for women, ensuring that their investments, savings efforts, and spending habits align with their long-term goals for wealth and security. .
Looking for help setting and achieving your financial goals? Here’s how a financial planner can help — and where to find the right one.
The importance of financial planning
Financial planners are professionals who can help you with many aspects of your personal finances. They can help you set and achieve savings goals, plan for retirement, choose investments, design a tax strategy, and even make insurance decisions.
“A finance professional can answer questions and provide advice based on your goals and unique circumstances,” said Faisa Stafford, president of the nonprofit finance organization Life Happens. “Rather than just adopting a cookie-cutter financial plan, they will build you a plan from the ground up to meet your individual needs and aspirations. They take into account your life stage, where you are in your career , the ages of your children, whether you have a mortgage, own a business, etc., to develop a plan that works for you now, but also in five, 10, 15 years.”
Although anyone can benefit from the help of a financial planner, it is especially helpful for women, who tend to live longer (by about five years), earn less money and make more career breaks than men.
According to Stafford, the pandemic has also made financial planning extremely important for women.
“The pandemic has exposed the disproportionate burden women face in caring for their families, which has led millions of people out of the workforce,” Stafford said. “With more women quitting their jobs and coming home, they not only lose their income, but also the benefits that have been given to them by an employer, such as life and disability insurance and pension plans. benefits that many employers offer. It is a misconception that stay-at-home parents do not need these benefits or a financial plan. They contribute to the household and their unpaid contributions to the family are priceless.
How to find a female financial planner
Some women may prefer to hire a same-sex financial planner because it can be helpful to have an advisor who understands their unique challenges and goals.
“An important part of a successful client-advisor relationship is trust, and trust is built through connection,” said Emily Bentley, chief executive of wealth management firm Homrich Berg. “Shared experiences are an organic way to connect, and women who choose women as financial advisors expand the opportunities to connect.”
It may also be easier to feel comfortable with female financial planners.
“Women relate to women in ways that men can’t,” said Maggie Gomez, CPA and founder of Money With Maggie. “It’s always nice to be completely heard and understood. It comes a lot more naturally for women from what I’ve seen.”
Although there is no specific directory for female financial advisors, there are resources that can point you in the right direction. These include:
This is the official directory of the CFP board. You can search by location and service, and while there’s no way to filter by gender, each entry includes a name and often a photo. There are also details on planner services, minimum asset requirements and languages spoken.
2. Top Female Wealth Advisors in the United States
In partnership with Shook Research, Forbes releases a list of top female financial advisors each year. These are broken down by state and have a little blurb about their background, investment philosophy, and more.
3. XY Planning Network
Although XY’s search tools do not allow you to filter by gender of the planner, you can choose from a number of “gender/identity-focused” specialties. Choose from planners that focus on women business owners, entrepreneurs and doctors, single women, divorced women, and more.
4. National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
NAPFA is an organization for paid financial planners – those who charge no commission for any of their services. Its search tool lets you find planners and planning firms in your area, but you can’t filter by gender.
How to find a professional CFP specializing in LGBTQ communities
Members of the LGBTQ community may prefer a financial planner who is also LGBTQ, an ally, or who specializes in their unique needs.
“People want to work with finance professionals who understand what they’re going through and what they’re going to go through,” Stafford says. “This leads a lot of people to seek out someone who understands their background and can relate to them culturally. Trust is also a big factor, so it’s more likely that someone who has a similar background to you get and what you want from your finances.”
Personal recommendations are a good option for finding a planner who specializes in the LGBTQ community. You can also use XY Planning Network or Garrett Planning Network and filter by a variety of LGBTQ-related financial service providers.
Find the right fit
Ultimately, it’s important to find a financial planner you feel comfortable with, regardless of your gender. Sometimes it can take a while. Don’t be afraid to research several options before deciding.
“While it may seem like a daunting task, I like to remind people that you don’t have to choose someone based on their online profile or right away,” Stafford says. “Meet people until you make a connection. It could be the first person you talk to or the third. Make time to have an introductory call – there’s no commitment to do so, and it’s free.”