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Steps You Can Take Toward Financial Security

In the past, women may have taken a less active role in household financial decision making. But, for many, those days are over. Today, women have more financial responsibility for themselves and their families. Women are involved in most household financial decisions today. So it’s critical that women know how to save, invest, and plan for the future.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS WOMEN CAN DO:

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MONEY. Create a budget, manage debt and credit wisely, set and prioritize financial goals, and implement a savings and investment strategy to meet those goals. Plan a budget that allows for 10 – 15 % savings. Have 6 months of expenses saved in cash for emergencies and/or job loss.

BECOME A KNOWLEDGEABLE INVESTOR. Learn basic investing concepts, such as asset classes, risk tolerance, time horizon, diversification, inflation, the role of various financial vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs, and the role of income and growth investments in a portfolio. Look for investing opportunities in the purchasing decisions you make every day. Have patience, be willing to ask questions, admit mistakes, and seek help when necessary.

PLAN FOR YOUR RETIREMENT. Save as much as you can for retirement. Estimate how much money you’ll need in retirement, and how much you can expect from your savings, Social Security, and/or an employer pension. Understand how your Social Security benefit amount will change depending on the age you retire, and also how years spent out of the workforce might affect the amount you receive. At retirement, make sure you understand your retirement plan distribution options, and review your portfolio regularly. Also, factor the cost of health care (including long-term care) into your retirement planning, and understand the basic rules of Medicare. Pay off all debts before you retire, especially your home.

ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IN THE WORKPLACE. Have confidence in your work ability and advocate for your worth in the workplace by researching salary ranges, negotiating your starting salary, seeking highly visible job assignments, networking, and asking for raises and promotions. In addition, keep an eye out for new career opportunities, entrepreneurial ventures, and/or ways to grow your business.

SEEK HELP TO BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY. If you have children and work outside the home, investigate and negotiate flexible work arrangements that may allow you to keep working, and make sure your spouse is equally invested in household and child-related responsibilities. If you stay at home to care for children, keep your skills up-to-date to the extent possible in case you return to the workforce, and stay involved in household financial decision making. If you’re caring for aging parents, ask adult siblings or family members for help, and seek outside services and support groups that can offer you a respite and help you cope with stress.

PROTECT YOUR ASSETS. Identify potential risk exposure and implement strategies to reduce that exposure. For example, life and disability insurance is vital to protect your ability to earn an income and/or care for your family in the event of disability or death. In some cases, more sophisticated strategies, such as other legal entities or trusts, may be needed. Properly insure your home and other tangible assets to replace losses. Consider an umbrella liability policy to protect against law suits.

CREATE AN ESTATE PLAN. To ensure that your personal and financial wishes will be carried out in the event of your incapacity or death, consider executing basic estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, durable power of attorney, and health-care proxy, medical directive, and HIPPA (Health Information Privacy Protection Act) forms with a “qualified professional”.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor.

* Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Old National Bank & Old National Investments are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial. Old National Bank, Old National Investments, and LPL Financial are separate entities. -Not FDIC Insured -Not Bank Guaranteed -May Lose Value -Not insured by any Federal Government Agency -Not a Bank Deposit

Sandy Derby, CFP®, ChFC LPL Financial Advisor, VP Southwest Michigan Region 5003 Century Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49006 269-459-0474 oldnational.investments TM

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