Taking control of your financial future requires the same tenacity and determination that women give to other areas of their lives.
By: Bill Few Advisor, ReShelle Barrett, CFP®
For 28 years, I have been advising clients about financial planning decisions. I was trained and worked on a team with our founder, Bill Few, a pioneer in the Pittsburgh financial planning community. During those years, I found that many women simply were not interested in their finances. Unfortunately, statistics consistently show that many women will have to manage on their own at some point in their lifetime. As a financial advisor, I saw the need for helping women work towards financial independence.
Being a working mom, like many women today, plus dealing with older clients and female surviving spouses led to my desire to be focused on women in my practice at Bill Few Associates. As a result, I began co-hosting Healthy, Wealthy & Wise – a radio talk show for women by women. We focused the show on health, financial and legal issues that women face. Thus, I began my career goal of helping women gain financial independence.
As a result, I have spent the better part of my career advising women of all ages to develop a strategy to meet their financial goals. This means getting educated, setting goals and having a plan. The foundation is establishing a strategy that is based on goals such as paying down debt, saving for college or saving for retirement. Next, we develop a plan to meet those goals. The plan should be easy to understand, flexible and reasonable to follow. Revisiting the plan periodically is crucial to making sure the plan remains appropriate and effective.
We start with basic steps such as making sure cash flow is positive. If you spend more than you bring in, you are heading the wrong way. If income cannot be changed, then we need to look at the spending side of the equation. The goal is to not only minimize debt, but to build on the savings side.
Once cash flow is addressed, we begin focusing on a savings and investment strategy. We talk about the goals while focusing on the time horizon of the goal. For example, saving for a down payment on a car means setting aside money in a savings account or short-term certificate of deposit. Even if the interest is low, it is more important to maintain the principal. On the other hand, savings for retirement can be invested in longer-term investments such as blue chip stock mutual funds.
Addressing estate plan issues are important, as well. This includes having a current will (especially if you have young children), durable power of attorney and healthcare power (living will) in place. Reviewing life insurance needs at this point is an integral part of estate planning.
Taking control of your financial future requires the same tenacity and determination that women give to other areas of their lives. I make it a priority to help women do this. Financial independence is a powerful thing.
Please stop in our office at 740 Washington Road or call me 412-630-6000 for more information on how I may help you toward financial independence.
Senior Vice President
Bill Few Associates
740 Washington Road
Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228
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