I'm Stephanie Sammons, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the Founder of Sammons Wealth Management. I help successful women professionals who are in midlife plan for their ideal retirement. Learn more about planning, saving, and investing for your ideal retirement at Sammons Wealth Management.
what women aged 50+ need from financial advisors

Show Notes for this Episode:

Women in midlife are different when it comes to what’s important in working with a financial advisor. According to a recent survey from Hearts & Wallets, a Financial Research Organization, women 50 and older are more demanding than women under age 45 with their financial advisors, and also more than men.

Although I don’t care for the word ‘demanding’, I do believe that when we enter midlife as women, we become more clear about what we want our money to do for us to and through our retirement years. I have definitely experienced this myself and with the women clients of my financial practice where I specialize in retirement planning for women professionals in midlife.

In this episode of the podcast, I share the findings of the survey, including the categories with the biggest percentage point difference in what women want vs what men want from their financial advisor. I also share the top 9 categories that matter most to women when working with a financial advisor.

The biggest differences between women and men include women wanting a financial advisor with long-term experience and specialized expertise.

One of the most important wants for women 50+ is working with a financial advisor who charges reasonable fees that are easy to understand.

Tune in to this episode of the podcast to hear more of the survey findings, and see how they compare to your own personal experience with a financial advisor.

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Next Avenue – What Women 50+ Want From Financial Advisers: Much More Than Men

How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor

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Welcome to the midlife money gal podcast. I'm Stephanie Sammons and experienced certified financial planner, guiding women professionals and midlife to and through their retirement years. Welcome back to another episode of the midlife money gal podcast. I'm your host, Stephanie, Sammons great to be back with you. And this week I wanted to share something with you. A survey that came across my desk, my own research in reading, and it's a survey that was done by an organization called hearts and wallets. And they are a financial research firm. And the study was all about what women 50 plus, who are, you know, age 50 and up like myself. And probably like most of you listening, what women 50 plus want from a financial advisor. So they looked at not only what are the biggest differences between women and men in terms of what they want from a financial advisor when they are between the ages of 50 and 70.

And then they also looked at what women who are 50 plus wanted most from their financial advisor sorted from top to bottom. So what was most important to these women when they were asked about working with a financial advisor? And so one of the interesting highlights that came from this survey was that women's attitudes have been shifting to demanding more, respect, more attention, more performance from their financial advisors as they are getting older. So it kind of makes sense to me that as we age, we become more clear about what we want and what is important to us. And we are less timid or less afraid maybe to pursue that and to be vocal about what we want and to not be shy about that. So I find that to be the case with my women, clients who are over 50, they're definitely more outspoken and willing to articulate what is important to them and, you know, not afraid to express their opinions.

And I think that's great. That's how we need be. That's how as women, we are able to achieve our goals and make sure our goals are going to get met and really get what we want. The founder and CEO of hearts and wallets. Her name is Laura virus. I hope I'm saying that correctly. VA R a S she says that women who are age 44 and younger are not more demanding than men, but women who are 45 and up, we are more demanding than men when it comes to working with financial advisors and trying to get our needs met. So I think that's fantastic and really, really important and consistent with my experience. So across all of the dimensions that the survey covered, women 50 plus were more demanding than men, 50 plus in all categories. And I'll read through these categories. So the two highlighted areas that I really wanted to focus on are number one, what are the differences?

The biggest differences in the categories ranked top to bottom, where women felt more strongly than men, and this is households age 50 to 70. So we're looking really at the, the variability between what women said and what men said and which ones ranked the highest. Okay. Hopefully that makes sense. So the first category was that you want your advisor to have specialized expertise. So that might be a financial advisor who has specialized expertise in college planning or a financial advisor who has specialized expertise in retirement planning, which is something that I focus on. That was number one, by a difference of 22 percentage points, women over men, women said 49% of women said, I want someone who has specialized expertise. Only 28% of men said that number two explains things and understandable terms. 66% of women want their financial advisor to explain things and understandable terms compared to 45% of men.

So that was a, about a 20% differential there. Number three has been in business a long time. So women who are over 50, want an experienced financial advisor to the tune of 50% of women said that was important to them versus 30% of men. That's another 20% difference there. My financial advisor is proactive when markets change or when I am losing money, 56% of women said, yes, that's important to me. That's what I want versus men, 36%, another 20% differential, the financial advisor's office is easy to get to, easy to find. 46% of women want this 28% of men, 19% difference between women and men there. I want my financial advisor to be easily reachable by telephone. 59% of women said that was important to them only 41% of men. So it does make sense to me there as well, that women over 50, we still like the phone.

We still like to have a verbal conversation and not have everything done in email. It's just more personable and you're able to connect better and have a better conversation because we can understand each other's tone over the phone. When we're talking next category. I want find my financial advisor to understand me and share my values. 51% of women said, yes, this is important to me versus 32% of men, which is really amazing. Um, and I find this to definitely be the case. In fact, I would say that many of my clients, the reason they came to me is because they were working with a financial advisor in most cases with a male financial advisor who was quite a bit older and who did not share their values at all, especially politically. So I just think it's important that you do business with people where you have similar values.

That's something that I put at the top of my list. Now, this one, isn't at the top of the list in terms of differences between women and men who are 50 plus, but it's one of the top. So understands me and shares my values. Next category has a defined and repeatable process for producing results. Women said 52% of women, I'm sorry, said, yes, that's important to me. And 35% of men, that's a 17% point difference. And then lastly, a well trained staff or well-trained person or people that you work with. 62% of women said that, yes, we want someone who is competent and only 45% of men, that's a 17% difference. So those were the

Biggest cat

Categories where you found the biggest differences between women ages, 50 to 70 and men ages 50 to 70, who are working with financial advisors. Now the second, uh, part of the survey that wanted to share with you are the top launce from women ages 50 to 70 when working with a financial advisor. So sorted from top to bottom, here are the categories that are most important to women. And there are nine of these, I believe. So I'll just walk through these really quickly.

The first one,

I want to make sure the fees are reasonable for the services provided. That was the number one most important want from women. 67% of women said, that's the most important thing. And I'll just tell you what, what men said 52% said, yes, fees need to be reasonable for the services provided. The second most important thing also had to do with fees or costs. And that one was women said they want to work with financial advisors who have low fees. 66% of women said this 55%

Of men, the third one

Category women over 50. Want to make sure that the fees are clear and understanding


X percent of women again said that was one of the most important things, 52% of men. So clearly understanding how your advisor is being compensated is very important to women who are over 50. They want to understand, and they want to make sure they're paying a fair price for the services they are receiving. The next category explains things and understandable terms. I want my financial advisor to explain things to me in a way that I can comprehend. 66% of women said again, this is a top want for them. Most important, 45% of men, the next category women over 50, say, I want a financial advisor who will make me money. 62% of women said this is important to them. 49% of them. The next category. I want a financial advisor who is unbiased and puts my interest first. That's really important. I'm glad to see that on the list.

Um, there are definitely financial professionals out there and the, who are part of organizations that are structured, where there are inherent conflicts of interest, or there can be. So you always want to ask that question when you are interviewing a financial advisor, the next category has a well trained staff. That was important. 62%. I spoke about that one earlier, the next one provides clear and useful statements. So I kind of think that goes along with you want someone, a financial advisor who explains things and understandable terms, but you also want clear and useful statements. And I, what that means to me is that once your financial advisor digest all of your information and your values and your goals and your beliefs and your financial data, and puts all of that together into a plan, then you want to know exactly what you're supposed to do.

What actions do you need to take with your financial lives so that you can stay consistent with your values and you can work toward achieving the goals that are most important to you. So that's a good one. And then the last one, the last category would have women 50 plus said, this is one of the most important things is that my financial advisors easily reachable by telephone. That was also one of the other ones where there was a big difference between men and women. 59% of women said that was important. So I find this to be really interesting. And let me share one more thing with you that really was highlighted in this article that I found. And this comes from a woman who, uh, she's the founder of the women's Institute for a secure retirement. It's called wiser. And this is a nonprofit and her name is Cindy Hounsell.

And one of the things that she talked about, she's done research in this area as well with women, uh, in terms of women being able to have a secure retirement. And she says, aside from what everyone wants, should expect of a financial advisor, trust, clarity of fees and understandable language women worry about having enough money. And they want to know they are working with someone who understands their lives and listens to and respects their judgments. They want someone who will inspire confidence instead of being condescending and talking down to you. You want someone who helps you become more confident about your money and who has respect for you. That makes a lot of sense to me. Cindy also says that the trust issue goes way beyond fees with financial advisor, that they want to make sure their financial advisor understands what their life is like and how busy their life.

Isn't all the hats they're trying to wear. So that's, that's something that I wanted to highlight. She says, women are also likely worried about their own future care needs and being prepared for longterm care and healthcare in the future, or the various life shocks where a sibling or a friend or a grind grandchild might need financial help. So these are some of the worries that you might have that need to be articulated to your financial advisor. And then finally, Cindy says, women want a financial advisor who asks aside from your own financial security, what are your biggest concerns? Are there unexpected financial consequences that worry you? Like, are you afraid of running out of money? And they want a financial advisor to say, let's plan and collaborate on the options that address your concerns and talk about the possibilities and the different paths that you're able to take.

Because really with financial planning, it's all about tradeoffs and deciding what is most important to you, and then what financial actions are consistent with your values and your priorities. So that's really the gist of this survey of what women 50 plus want from a financial advisor. And so I ask of you, are you getting what you want from your financial advisor? If you fall into this category. And if you're not, maybe it's time to really think about this and interview other potential financial advisors. So some things you might want to uncover, if you start looking for a new financial advisor, is you want to know, do they share your values? Do they listen to you? Do they have a complete understanding of your life? Do they communicate with you? Will they communicate with you by phone or in person once we can meet in person again, of course,

Are they proactive?

Are they staying in touch with you? And are they making adjustments and changes not only to your investment portfolio, but to your financial plan. And on that note, are you working with a financial advisor, or if you're looking for a new financial advisor, will they engage you in comprehensive financial and retirement planning as have talked about so many times before on the show planning is where the hidden gems are. Investing is not really rocket science anymore. Investing successfully has a lot more to do with your behavior and sticking to the strategy, then picking the right stocks or picking the right investments. Planning is where as financial advisors, we are really able to uncover and deliver value to our clients. So that's something that you want to ask about and you want to find out

About having a plan

And in place helps you stay on track toward your financial goals. It gives you something to follow. It gives you a foundation and a framework. And then finally you want to understand how your financial advisor is being compensated and whether or not you can clearly understand it, whether or not there are any inherent conflicts of interest and whether or not it is reasonable, the fee being charged and assessed for the services being provided. And nowadays you want a financial advisor who is going to deliver not only investment management and help you with your investment and retirement accounts, to where they're working toward your financial goals. But you also want a financial advisor who does comprehensive, thorough financial and retirement planning for you. Because without that, there's not really any context for your investment portfolio. What's the point? What are you striving for? What goals are you trying to achieve over time?

And so you want all of that to align your values, your priorities, your goals, and your portfolio, all of those things should be in alignment. So I hope you have found this to be helpful and interesting. And I will link to this survey that I shared with you today in the show notes, you can go to midlife money, gal.com forward slash the number five seven. This is episode 57 and I'll link to some other resources as well, including a previous episode where I did talk about the differences between the various types of financial advisors out there in case you want to educate yourself a little bit more about that as well. Okay. That's going to wrap it up for today. Thanks so much for listening and take care. This show is for informational and educational purposes only. Please do not consider any of the content as personalized financial investment tax or legal.

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