from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (SEPT 12, 2010): HOW RETIREMENT PLANNING SHORTCHANGES WOMEN
A recent survey by financial-services company MassMutual found that women's retirement accounts were, on average, just two-thirds the size of men's. The disparity is made worse by demographics: Because they live longer, women need more money than men for a comfortable retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
There is a dirty little secret in legal and financial services. Women sometimes get short-shrift from the very advisors they trust to help them with these matters. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, women investors responding to a Boston Consulting Group survey said they “routinely feel underserved by the financial services industry,” with more than 70 percent expressing dissatisfaction with the service they’re getting. Among the complaints: disrespectful advisors, narrower investment choices based on the assumption that women can’t handle risks and patronizing pitches like one from a bank’s website that urged women to give their finances a “makeover.”
Again, according to the WSJ, between 70 to 80 percent of advisors are men, and many veterans have built careers serving a mostly male clientele.
If you are a woman (or love someone who is), don’t accept poor service or communication from any legal or financial advisors. It’s your right and responsibility to seek out solid financial advice that is appropriate for you. The truth is that women live longer than men, and need more money for a comfortable retirement … so you simply cannot afford to accept less-than-stellar service from your advisors.
So, how do you protect yourself? Speak up. Ask questions. Get educated. I would encourage you to follow this blog, and visit our website to sign up for our free monthly newsletter at www.SundvickLegacyCenter.com . And, don’t be afraid to walk out the door (taking your accounts with you) should you feel dismissed, intimidated, or patronized by any advisor.
If you need a referral, let me know. My business is to take care of your business.
Lizette B. Sundvick, Esq.