A growing trend, that I believe, will prove to be a positive for the agricultural industry is the addition of more women in the business. Whether it is a widow taking over the family farm, a wife running the financial books, or the passing of the ranch and farm to the daughter(s) instead of son(s), women are making an impact. Even in the financial industry with specializations in agriculture, we’re seeing more women getting involved – Agri Authority is a perfect example! Therefore, it’s important for women to understand the unique financial needs specific to them.
The following items highlight these areas in order to better C.A.R.E. for the financial welfare of women:
* Caretakers – Women are more likely to serve as the primary caretakers for their children and/or aging parents & relatives. As a result, their income earning years are typically less than a man, which makes maximizing any income they have paramount.
* Advanced Medical Costs – Women typically have higher medical costs due to pregnancy and other potential follow up expenses. Thus, more money is spent and is necessary to support these expenditures.
* Risk Tolerance & Representation Sensitivity – Although changing, the financial industry is still largely dominated by men, which results in many financial relationships being customized for and by men. As a result, many women either opt out of making financial decisions, are ignored in the decision making process, or experience increased anxiety and reservation when making financial decisions. Thus, financial literacy and engagement with women in this area remains a beneficial opportunity.
* Extended Life Spans – Women have longer life expectancies than men, and are therefore more vulnerable to running out of money when it’s needed most. To protect these “golden years”, sound financial planning and protections strategies are crucial.
Fortunately, even though financial issues are numerous and broad, their solution is quite simple – education and execution. First, take time to analyze your specific risks and goals. Second, seek to establish relationships and consultation from various sources. For example, a banker, investment advisor, CPA, attorney and trust officer are key partners to have on your team. Lastly, and most importantly, take action on the strategies developed. At a minimum, begin an emergency savings plan, establish a will, estate plan and medical directive. By implementing these few strategies, you will have laid a foundation supportive to protecting you, your family and your farm, or ranch for a more secure future.
Written by: Dagan Sharpe
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