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How are you different?
While both men and women can benefit from working with a female advisor, perhaps women benefit more so because we take the time to connect. Yes, we are conducting business. Yes, we have specific objectives to accomplish. However, like many female advisors, I really enjoy teaching clients about planning and investing. It is not enough for clients to trust me and to allow me to act on their behalf. I want them also to have at least a basic understanding of the financial markets; risk; tax considerations; and issues involving retirement, their children’s education, and legacy planning.
I am going through a separation. How can you help me?
From what I have seen over the years, the women who have the most in-depth understanding of their finances are the ones who walk away feeling the most positive once the divorce is finalised. It is not because they secured the biggest pay-out or assets, it is because they were empowered to make their own decisions about what was best for their future.
I am planning to take a sabbatical. How can you help me?
Unless your employer is willing to subsidise your time off, you will need to make careful financial plans, both to cover any loss of income and pay for extra expenses like travel and perhaps health insurance. If you have young children, you might require childcare; if you are leaving the country, the upkeep of your home. Add up all those charges, and run the numbers with your financial planner, calculating both short- and long-term impacts. Consider implications for your future financial projections.
I love my job and find it fulfilling. My partner wants to quit his full-time job and work part time to spend more time at home with our children. How can you help me?
Before we meet to do the planning, the most obvious thing to consider is, would this cover all your expenses? To estimate how prepared you are, first figure out how much you spend each month. Look back at the past three to six months and average your monthly expenses. Then calculate how much money you would earn from your part-time salary; plus, any additional income sources you have.
How can I get involved when my partner takes care of the finances?
I also strive to be inclusive to ensure that my female clients are equally heard and brought into the conversation, particularly if I am working with a husband and wife. Even though one spouse may have primary responsibility over finances, I’ve learned to ask each individual separately about their questions and concerns. I will specifically ask my female clients what they think or what concerns they have, which are often different from those of their husband. Sometimes that means making some space for longer periods of silence while thoughts are collected, but it always pays off to listen.
I am a single woman with a great job and salary and have never had the time to look at finances? How can you help me?
Knowing what the ‘right’ thing to do with it can be scary!
These are some of the questions I ask clients to help them create a context for making better decisions:
What matters most to you in life?
How do you want your future to look?
What is important to you about money?
What worries you about money?
How do you see your money helping you?
What does a ‘good’ investment outcome look like to you?
If you died tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?
I have been made redundant. How can you help me?
If your role has been made redundant, it can cause a lot of emotional and financial stress. Seeking advice pays off because you can be significantly better off if you maximise your redundancy payout. It offers a unique opportunity to reassess your financial goals and use your payout to set you up for the future
I am leaving Switzerland. How can you help me?
Seek advice regarding your options on the III pillar swiss pension system. As an example in most instances a person Pillar 1 contributions will end when you leave Switzerland. There may, however, be exceptions to this rule. For some people there could be a significant benefit in continuing to contribute to both Old Age and Survivors Insurance scheme (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI), which could allow you to receive a full government pension upon retirement and remain protected against disability whilst you remain working.