Posts in Generational Financial Planning

The Realities of Being Wonder Woman

February 15th, 2016 Posted by Family Finances, Generational Financial Planning, Investor Behavior, Jobs, Careers and Benefits, Life Planning, Loans and Debt, Marriage and Finances, Retirement Planning, Saving 0 thoughts on “The Realities of Being Wonder Woman”

Wonder Woman is 75! No, that’s not her age in comic books, but it is how many years have passed since her character was created in 1941. Her “diamond” anniversary has sparked renewed interest in this unusual heroine and reminded many of us about her accomplishments. From the days of World War II through the present, she has confronted and beaten many of the challenges that real women face. She has served as a role model and a trendsetter; she has emulated and fostered that we-can-do-it attitude. She is also a reflection of the world around us.

We see regular reports about the progress women have made in recent times. They are better educated than ever before, with more women than men currently in college. There are more women than men in the workforce. Many more women are the primary breadwinners for their families than in the past. They are leaders in many professional fields and have made great strides in the business world.

With all this progress, however, women must still cope with difficult odds. While the gap is slowly narrowing, women continue to earn less money than men for equal work. While men are taking on more responsibilities in the home, women still shoulder more than their share of childcare and housework. They often end up with the bulk of caregiving for aging parents and other family members in need. And they continue to confront invisible barriers in the scientific and corporate worlds. The demands on their personal time can be overwhelming and the rewards of paid employment may be less than satisfying.

As if all this weren’t challenging enough, many women worry about having no one to care for them in their later years. They also worry about having a financial safety net that will withstand the unexpected. Concern about the cost of healthcare adds to overall anxiety levels.

Many women know that they need to do something about financial planning. They may feel, however, that they do not have the time to deal with it, adding to the emotional stress of their daily lives. They may believe that they should find professional advice, but may not know where to turn. While women as a group are becoming increasingly educated and informed about financial matters, they may not feel comfortable asking for help. At times like this, they do not feel very much like Wonder Woman.

The demands of 21st century life do not show any signs of diminishing. And as women are controlling more and more of the world’s personal wealth, the need for each of them to create and implement a solid plan for financial management is growing stronger. They need to find a way to do it that helps relieve stress, rather than adding to it.

At OpenCircle Wealth Partners, we can help. We have years of experience assisting women with the particular issues they face. We take great satisfaction in helping them find their way through the financial jungle to a place where they feel more in charge of their lives – to a place where they feel more like the Wonder Women they really are. Please give us a call at 203-985-0448 for a free, no-obligation, consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

[Photo Credit: Paolo Rivera]

Five Myths About Baby Boomers

December 8th, 2015 Posted by Family Finances, Generational Financial Planning, Investor Behavior 0 thoughts on “Five Myths About Baby Boomers”

Many of our clients at OpenCircle are members of the “baby boomer” generation, so it was with great interest that we read a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post. Entitled “Five Myths About Baby Boomers,” the post was written by Sally Abrahms, a nationally recognized writer on baby boomers. As a service to our readers, we are sharing a condensed version here.

There are 75.4 million baby boomers in the United States, people from 51 to 69 years old. They are a far more diverse demographic than any of their stereotypes convey. It’s time to debunk some generalizations.

  1. Boomers are wealthy.

Many empty nesters are snapping up second homes or moving into bigger quarters, seeking more space for friends and relatives to visit.

But many boomers couldn’t be further from living that dream. While some benefit from multiple income streams, members of this sandwich generation often are saddled with their children’s college tuition payments and health expenses for their aging parents. Some have to leave their jobs to be full-time caregivers.

On top of that, there’s a mounting number of “gray divorce” couples who, in their 50s and 60s, have to divide assets. And given boomers’ longer life expectancy, that translates into a lot more bills for many more years.

Savings aren’t helping them much. Working Americans age 60 or older have median savings of just $50,000, about $250,000 short of their goal. Furthermore, about half of retirees leave the workforce earlier than expected, often because of health problems or an employer’s decision.

For many boomers, their financial situation is more precarious than others think, and they have a palpable fear that they will outlive their money.

  1. Boomers are healthier than their parents.

Boomers have the longest life expectancy in history. They have access to new screening tests and greater awareness about health issues. They track their fitness and count their calories.

But research shows that boomers are in worse health than their parents at the same age. They have more disabilities and higher rates of chronic diseases. They are more likely to be obese, exercise less and have higher rates of hypertension and high cholesterol.

  1. Boomers are selfish.

Detractors complain that boomers stay too long at their jobs and in their homes, not making room for the next generation, spending their children’s inheritances and running up debt.

But boomers have been far more generous than they’re given credit for. The generation is poised to lead the largest wealth transfer in US history. And over the next 20 years, retirees will make charitable donations of money and time worth an estimated $8 trillion.

The generation has also solidified the concept of the “encore career,” parlaying their experience and skills into volunteer roles or paid “second act” jobs that have a positive social impact.

  1. Boomers are technology-challenged.

The fact is that boomers have integrated digital technology into almost every facet of their lives – from banking and shopping to following news and watching videos. A large majority of them own a cellphone and a desktop computer.

They are also not media-shy. Users over age 55 are Facebook’s fastest-growing segment. And the 50-plus set make up 20 percent of all online daters.

  1. Boomers don’t have sex.

Surveys show that people in this generation don’t let their love lives die. The downside is that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the 50+ age group is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At OpenCircle, we do not draw conclusions about our clients based on age, gender or any other factor. We treat each client on an individual and personalized basis. You should expect no less from your investment advisor or wealth manager.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Homini]