July 5, 2011
Your Finances at 50
When Kristen Fricks-Roman’s husband died suddenly during her mid-40s, everything her husband took care of in their relationship became her responsibility – including finances.
Luckily for women like her, a recent study shows middle-age and older women are more confident than younger women about making major financial decisions.
That personal tragedy taught her that finances won’t “just run themselves as [you] get older,” Fricks-Roman, a senior VP at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, tells PINK. So, what’s the key to making sure your finances don’t slip after the big 5-0?
“Longevity planning,” she says. “The process of preparing yourself financially to live a long life.” (Research shows life expectancy is increasing by about 2.5 years
per decade.) And she knows from experience. “I didn't expect such a life-altering event. If you’re planning for longevity, events are just episodes in life and don’t become catastrophes.“
Where to start? “Begin with a one-page net worth statement that will summarize what money you have and where it is,” says Fricks-Roman. She suggests asking questions, like what is your mortgage rate, how are assets titled, and where is the life insurance policy? Then, “Be part of the bill pay process,” if you aren’t already, and simplify finances by paying off debt.
“The goal… is to have financial serenity – having enough reliable resources to pay the essential bills, no matter what happens.” Experts say longevity planning can benefit you in retirement – and your small business too.
Sites like FPANet can help you connect with online financial planners nationally and in your area.
Bonus PINK Link: Spending wisely helps increase your savings – here’s how.
By Caroline Cox
"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." Emily Dickinson