By John Drachman
Yesterday was Equal Pay Day, the full year and a quarter it took for American women to earn as much as money as American men did for the 12 months of 2019.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make about 82 cents for every $1 earned by a man. Over a 40-year career this pay gap translates into a $407,760 loss.
“A lot of our self-esteem and self-confidence is derived from our work — after all, we spend a great deal of time and invest a lot of energy in the workplace,” Kim Churches of the American Association of University Women said recently.
With their significant longevity advantages over men, though, women are destined to inherit the earth. Currently, outliving men by an average of four or five years, their life spans just got a shocking new extension derived from the current pandemic: Men are dying at a higher rate from coronavirus than women. While statistics related to American men are not yet available, The World Health Organization reported that men represented around 70% of coronavirus deaths in Western Europe. “Mortality in males seems to be twice that of every age group of females,” said the White House’s Deborah Birx.
According to Wealth Management Advisor Daniel M. Choi, the women he meets in his practice know they are evolutionary winners. They have time on their side and are not hesitant to put it to work. “Women are taking over the lead role with regard to many financial decisions,” he said.
He cited three factors behind today’s take-charge female investors:
- More decisive about choices. A LIMRA study detailed how women do better than men when it comes to such factors as Social Security benefit selections, managing retirement expenses, estimating health care and designing a cash flow retirement strategy.
- Gaining new confidence. As their contributions to the household kitty increases over time, women often become the key financial decision maker in a relationship. According to The Wall Street Journal “by 2022, women will control over 60% of the wealth in the United States.” As if further proof of the power of longevity were needed, 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are now controlled by women, compared to the 35% of estates controlled by men.
- Cross-generational engagement. A study by Artemis Strategy Group noted how 96% of women are involved in their family’s financial decisions. While 76% of Baby Boomer women focused most on developing a long-range plan, Generation X women reported they were often in a major financial life stage change – like divorce, care for aging parents or job change – than their male counterparts. On the other hand, Millennial women expressed the most enthusiasm and enjoyment when it came to gaining the knowledge needed to make better financial decisions.
Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP® urges female investors to “Don’t just save—invest,” even through the market’s recent Covid-19-driven volatility. “While stock market downs are definitely a reality,” she adds, “there’s also a risk in being too cautious. Not investing can mean missing out on long-term gains that can help you achieve your goals.” While that can sound daunting, she counsels, “it doesn’t have to be if you keep your eyes focused on your end goal. And, with the help of an investment professional, you don’t have to go it completely alone.”
John Drachman is a contributing writer to, MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors .John is an IABC award-winning writer, who applies his 30 years of financial marketing experience toward advancing the dialog between investors and investment professionals.