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.