AHERN FIANCE 101
"3 Financial Mistakes Women Make"
By Courtney Potts
Women worry about kids, spouses, work, and, of course, money. In fact, recent studies show that women are more concerned about money than men are.
Here are a few ideas on how to manage three common financial responsibilities that women face today.
1. Having Enough Retirement Savings
Face your concerns and assess your retirement savings with a free online retirement savings calculator to calculate how much you'll need based on your current situation. Then, visit a financial professional.
"Have a financial plan completed," says David Reynolds, Tri-Cities Market President for First Horizon Bank. "It will give you a snapshot of exactly where you are, and make you think about your short- and long-term plans."
If your banker uncovers a retirement savings shortfall, Reynolds says you may have to reallocate your portfolio and review your time frame for retirement.
Do you have a 401(k)? If so, review your employer contributions. "Are you receiving all available matching dollars in your 401(k)?" asks Reynolds. "This is an easy way to start building retirement savings."
2. Paying for Unexpected Expenses
Are you prepared? As the TCRS data revealed, women have an average of just $2,000 in emergency savings compared to the $10,000 average emergency savings men have.
"You need to build an emergency fund, " says Reynolds, who suggests using payroll deductions for automatic savings into an account designated for emergency cash. A prevailing rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund that is equal to at least three to six months of your expenses.
As you are building up this emergency fund, you might also look for ways to supplement your cash safety net, should unexpected expenses arise. "Check the loan provisions in your 401(k)," Reynolds says. "You may be able to borrow money against your 401(k) without penalty."
3. Managing Information Overload
With so many competing financial priorities, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Perhaps what you need most is to get your financial house in order. It's important to know where you stand: Are your beneficiary designations up to date? Do you know which documents you need to keep (and which you can toss)? Do you have a system for managing your budget?
Build a relationship with a banker who is willing and able to speak your language — keeping things clear and educational — so you can increase your financial confidence over time.
Also, take advantage of available tools, such as a personalized web portal that combines all the important elements of your financial life, allowing you to connect your various accounts for automatic updates, upload important documents and records to a secure vault, and add personal data about family members, real estate holdings, or other financial information to which you'd like to have online access.
Putting It Together
You’re not alone when it comes to managing your money. Contact a First Horizon Bank associate who can help you grow your confidence with your finances.