After many years working with women and men, I have discovered that women need a very different financial planner than men. Women think differently, react differently to situations and, for the most part, have different priorities. The planner that they choose should be sensitive to these differences.
I found in my research that the importance of money for women has to do with how it will impact people. Looking at facts and figures may work for men, but, for the most part, that is boring to women unless it furthers their agenda of nurturing family and relationships. This is the reason women worry over money decisions when they are alone. They feel responsible for everyone and want to make the best possible stewardship decision. They will delay decisions when they feel they have knowledge gaps. They spend time reading and researching to get the necessary facts. The negative of this approach is that women sometimes do not make a decision at all because they do not have the confidence to pull the trigger. When alone, women will need an advisor that helps them move forward with a decision. An advisor that they trust.
Overwhelmingly, the issue women usually face when making financial decisions when they are alone is not making bad decisions, but rather the time and research and comfort to make any decision at all. If you are a woman alone, do not worry over your difficulty with making those decisions. It is a natural part of who you are. Just find advisors you need: attorneys, accountants, planners, or brokers, who will take the time to listen and who will not rush you to make decisions.
- The first question to ask when hiring a financial advisor is: How much time are you willing to spend with me before decisions are made and after they are made?
In my opinion, since money is the way that we work out our value and belief system, it is imperative that the professional advice we receive is rooted in biblical financial principles. This will take more time than a simple decision based on spreadsheets.
- The second question to ask is: Is your planning process overtly Christian and do you use biblical financial principles in the planning?
The next question is not as easy to discover in someone you are interviewing, but you should not have to ask this question for it to be obvious.
- Will he/she help encourage you in making appropriate decisions and help you prioritize your goals based on a thorough set of questions that looks deep into your virtues, values and objectives?
- Will you help me protect my money and avoid possible dangers in the market?
The rest of the questions are straightforward and meaningful in creating a plan that fits your wealth and temperament.
- How many families have you worked with whom have a net worth equal to or higher than mine? How many women, who are alone, have you worked with who have my net worth?
- Will I be working directly with you?
- How long do you devote to the planning process for your clients?
- Will you conduct and help monitor family meetings to help communicate my plan to my children?
- Once the plan you design for me is implemented, what are your on-going services to help keep the plan current?
- How do you handle future changes in the plan?
- How do you get paid?
Women are created in the image of God. They have traits and characteristics that are a complement to men. What happens when women are alone is that they are faced with the challenge of being both father and mother to their children. They become inordinately independent and seek God’s partnership to help fill the void of the man. They seek conversation around the relationships in their life and want whoever helps them to understand their unique issues around those relationships. They want to be part of a bigger story that focuses on Jesus. Money is merely a tool to build on the relationship in their life and to create a meaningful legacy.
Download this free ebook that will help you understand what’s possible once you discover how to become a better steward by focusing on Kingdom causes that will enable you to build an enduring family legacy if you are a single woman.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.