Like McField-Asamoah, many women want to pay off their credit cards and reduce spending while increasing savings. But the one area where most women still lack is retirement assets. The average woman near retirement has $34,000 in a 401(k) plan or IRA, whereas her male counterpart has $70,000. Roughly four out of 10 women rely on Social Security as their only source of retirement income. For many, a 401(k) plan serves as their emergency fund.
Part of the challenge is that the male-dominated financial services industry is oriented toward the male mindset, says Young. “The industry doesn’t meet the unique needs of women, who have more questions and approach money more holistically.” Young has worked in financial services for 12 years, most recently at Fidelity Investments, where she advised 500 millionaires how to invest their money.
“A woman behaving wealthy spends on the basis of what is important to her on her current income,” Young says. “You never want to operate out of a place of fear. The goal is to become more confident and comfortable about making wealth decisions.”
So, grab your bag and answer these seven questions to see if you’re a woman behaving wealthy.
What’s in your wallet?
Count the number of credit cards (not debit cards) that you carry. If you have more than one, you’re likely overspending and incurring debt. You should have one credit card that you use to, say, rent a car or pay for a trip, with the goal
of paying off that card in 30 days.
“You really should be using cash or a debit card, which would indicate that you’re living within your means,” says Young. “If you’re using credit then you’re probably spending beyond your income. Besides, managing multiple credit cards complicates life instead of simplifying it.”
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