A 25-year-old college-educated woman earns $523,000 less over her lifetime than her male counterpart according to Americans for a Secure Retirement, “The Female Factor,” September 2005. Less earnings then translate into less Social Security and pension benefits.  Woman also are more likely to work part-time or take a leave of absence to care for aging parents.  She is also more likely to live longer than her husband and spend time living alone due to widowhood or divorce.  So what? So, it is more important than ever to make sure women start at a young age concerning themselves with savings and planning for the time when they (or their husband) will no longer be able to generate an income.

In recent months, I have met with more women who are in financial crisis than any other time in my 25 years in the financial industry.  The thing that jumps out about each situation is the woman never took charge, or at some point abdicated her money responsibilities and left her financial future to someone else.

One woman, busy raising a young family with a husband, who was moving up the corporate ladder, left all the financial matters to her husband.  Since they had a home, and cars and money for vacations, etc, she thought everything was taken care of.  Then he died.  At age 40, she found they had no savings or any preparations in place to take care of her, should something like this happen.

Another woman was a business owner.  She loved what she did and envisioned working forever, which was good because she had no retirement savings, no paid off mortgage, nothing put away for the day she could not work.  Over the years of running, a business there was always payroll to meet or some bill to pay.  She never planned for her financial future and just thought, “It would all work out somehow”.  Then she had a stroke.

I can tell story after story of some version of this.  You probably know a woman in the same state of affairs.  Even so, many of you are thinking “Well that won’t happen to me” or “I have plenty of time to do this later”, or “When I get married I will be taken care of financially”.  Yet we do not know what the future holds. 

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are all called to be good stewards of the resource God has given us, so take control of your financial future NOW.  If you have no idea how to start, look for a financial planner that can help you develop a road map.   A Husband is not a financial plan!

Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Financial Partners, LLC.  (www.KristiLAndersen.com) Securities offered through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC.  Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial if applicable.  Financial Network is not affiliated with Kristi L Andersen Financial Partners, LLC or AdvisorNet Financial.