Financial Planning for Women: Tips and Challenges


International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8th, and it’s a day where we recognize the achievements of women, and the importance of gender equality. But it’s also a time to pay attention to the financial challenges women are still facing, and how to overcome them.

Here are some of the top financial hurdles that women face, and what steps you can take to confidently achieve your money goals:

Getting Involved with Finances: Financial Planning for Women

Women are much more in control of their money than ever before. A GoBankingRates survey found that 90 percent of women either controlled household finances, or shared that control with their partner. 

However, about 58 percent of women still leave the major financial decisions up to their male partners, according to a study from UBS Global Wealth Management.

If you do assume some or full control of the finances, make sure you’re still keeping your partner in the loop. Sit down together, go over your financial progress and ensure that you’re on the same page.

But if you don’t take an active role in the finances, start by making a habit of reviewing your accounts, keeping track of bills and talking regularly with your partner about your budget and money goals. 

It’s very important that both partners are aware of the financial situation and involved in making those decisions, because if one of you passes away or leaves, the other person would need to know how to continue managing that money.

Negotiating Your Salary

Salary negotiation is still a challenge for many women. According to a Glassdoor survey, only 46 percent of women negotiate their initial salary offer, compared to 52 percent of men. The survey also found that when women do negotiate their salaries, they ask for 30 percent less than men do.

Many women struggle to negotiate their salaries because they are nervous about seeming pushy or demanding. Studies have shown that women who negotiate their salary are more likely to be penalized, and are viewed more negatively than men who negotiate. 

So, how can you negotiate a salary or a raise with confidence?

First, arm yourself with the information that will make you feel more confident.

What do people in your field tend to make in your area? 

How many years have you been in your current career? 

What experience and qualifications do you have? 

How long has it been since your last raise? 

If you’ve been with a company for a while, what accomplishments have you achieved since you’ve been there?

Advocate for yourself and know that sometimes, just doing good work will not be enough to get you more money. You have to ask for what you want. Knowing the facts will help you present your case.

Taking Time Off: Financial Planning for Women

Women are still the primary caretakers, both for children and other family members. Over 80 percent of all caregivers, both professional and personal, are women. And in couples where both partners work, women still spend 40 percent more time caregiving than their male partners.

This gap in caretaking and time off is still a major hurdle for many women’s careers. That being said, some companies are putting plans in place to ease that struggle.

When you’re considering a career or a job at a new company, make sure you look carefully at that company and how they handle time off. It can also be helpful to look into companies whose workforce is made up of many women, or whose values support flexibility and family and medical leave.

While unexpected time off can happen, be aware of your needs and goals when you’re looking for a new job or a career. If you don’t plan on having children or a spouse will be the primary caretaker for your family, it may be easier for you to choose a more demanding job or field. But if you do foresee needing more flexibility in your work situation, choose a company that will be able to support that. You could also consider gig work, freelancing or starting your own business if that works better for your situation.

Finally, be aware of your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA,) including up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for qualifying employees for a medical reason, the birth of a child, or to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. Group health benefits must also be maintained during the leave. 

FMLA does not require a company to pay you during your leave. Consider short term disability insurance to supplement your pay if you need to take time off.

Saving for Retirement

Did you know that on average, women save three times less than men for retirement?  One of the main reasons for that disparity is that women make less money to save during their careers. In 2024, for every dollar men earn, women earn 84 cents. 

Women are also more likely to work part time or lower paying jobs that do not offer 401(k)s or other retirement plans. Even if your spouse or partner has a retirement plan, it’s important to have your own retirement savings. 

Women tend to live longer than men, too, so they need to prepare to cover living and medical expenses for more time.

Finally, women are also more likely to keep their savings in cash instead of investing. 

The good news is that there are investment options for every income level. The sooner women can start investing and preparing for retirement, the better chance they have to maximize that money.


Many women are taught to save instead of invest, or they lack the confidence they need to make big financial decisions.

I’ve even seen this with my own clients. Sometimes high achieving, successful women are afraid to make the wrong move with their money. Instead, they choose to keep their money in cash.

But a little bit of risk is essential. The more knowledge you have about investing, the more confidence you’ll have to take small steps that add up to big gains over time.

Here are a few more posts I’ve done to help you improve your money mindset:

Change Your Mindset to Grow Wealth

How to Cut Down on Money Stress

Improve Your Money Mindset This Year

About Your Richest Life

At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.

The post Financial Planning for Women: Tips and Challenges appeared first on Your Richest Life.

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