GUIDING WOMEN, PROVIDING SUPPORT…THROUGH ALL THE AGES AND STAGES OF LIFE
Women often experience multiple transitions in their lives – both planned and unplanned. Some of the ages and stages of life are predictable: college and early jobs, marriage and motherhood, life choices and careers, retirement and “fourth quarter” decisions. These are the types of transitions that most women plan for and anticipate. While every age and stage of life presents options and opportunities, sometimes the unplanned transitions, such as divorce and becoming a widow, create even stronger inflection points – times where we can reinvent ourselves if given the proper time and support.
Women do have different financial needs and some unifying concerns such as balancing the demands of caregiving with work, hitting a glass ceiling and the potential for outliving their spouse. But not every woman is the same; to paint them with the same brush is a disservice to one and all. For too long, the financial services industry has ignored women’s concerns about health, wealth and purpose. Ironically, over the past ten years, many financial services firms seem to have woken up and are saying they focus on women “as a niche.” Of course, this is laughable – just like snowflakes, no two women are the same.
What is clear is that women are no longer a minority. They hold unprecedented power and wealth – wealth that can be used for the greater good, whether the woman controlling it is interested in creating a self-reliant future, supporting family and friends, running a successful business, or leaving a legacy through philanthropy and impact investing.
Listen to Stearns Financial Group partner Haleh Moddasser, CPA, talk about Grey Divorce, Silver Linings in this interview captured at the 2018 Advisor Thought Leader Summit.
At Stearns Financial, we have listened to the concerns of our female clients. We’ve learned from these conversations and have developed a custom approach that will help women build and grow their wealth, creating a comprehensive wealth program that covers every aspect of their financial lives – whether that woman is:
Part of a couple
Single by choice
A mother and/or grandmother
Childless by choice
A business professional
Young, old or in between
At Stearns Financial, we seek to help our clients understand their options and to build clarity around those choices enabling them to live the life they want to live – with clarity, confidence and grace. How do we do this? It sounds simple, but some mastery is required. First and foremost, we create concrete financial plans and what-if scenarios. We even trademarked our custom Financial Independence Roadmap℠ process.
We help educate our clients about financial matters and discuss options to help improve long-term outcomes. Most importantly, we serve as trusted partners who listen and seek to understand what matters most. We’ll also work together to make any unplanned transitions as painless as possible.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE:
How can I maintain my financial independence?
How can I raise money-smart kids who have ambition and don’t feel entitled?
Am I prepared for an unexpected event like the death of my spouse or a divorce?
How can I use my wealth for a purpose greater than myself?
Life brings us changes whether we are ready for them or not. There are the types of changes we plan for—growing up, moving out on our own, starting careers and families, buying a home…and then there are the unexpected changes we don’t like to talk about: job loss, divorce, or death of a partner.
And when life changes, money changes.
Life changes regardless of gender, but right now we’re seeing a shift in wealth management for women that isn’t expected to slow down any time soon.
By 2020 women are expected to control $22 trillion in assets in the U.S., and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.1 By 2030, another $24 trillion is expected to be inherited by women through spousal and inter-generational transfers. This equates to an estimated two-thirds of the nation’s wealth being controlled by women.
Whatever happens in your life, Stearns Financial Group has the insights and professional knowledge to help you live a rich and fulfilling life. Contact us for a confidential – and caring – conversation today .
THE REALITIES OF DIVORCE
While not all women will get divorced, the reality is that the divorce rate for people over 50 has roughly doubled since the 1990s. And while the emotional impact of a divorce can be brutal, the financial impact of a so-called gray divorce can be devastating.
According to Haleh Moddasser, a wealth management advisor and partner with Stearns Financial Group in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, “At least as a widow you get 100% of the marital estate. With a divorce, you may only get half of it, and you might not have the earning power at age 60 to rebuild those assets.” Still, two-thirds of these gray divorces are initiated by women, Moddasser says.
Moddasser started researching why so many older women are leaving their marriages. The answer: longevity, says Moddasser, who turned her research into a book, Gray Divorce, Silver Linings: A Woman’s Guide to Divorce After 50.
“The old paradigm was that you would retire at 65, and you’d live another 10 to 15 years,” she notes. “And half of that time would be spent in a skilled nursing home.” Now that we’re living longer and healthier lives, when a woman hits 65 she sees another 20 or more good years ahead of her… years that could be spent traveling, working, painting, or finding someone new who shares her interests. “You have an opportunity for a do-over instead of thinking, ‘Well, I’m at the end of my life so there’s nothing else I can do anyway.’”
Stearns Financial Group (SFG) is registered with Hightower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC. This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors. All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. SFG and Hightower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice. This is for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of SFG and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.