Six Money Moves for Women Who Want More Financial Security

These six steps can help women take control of their financial futures
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 19 July 2021

Six Money Moves for Women Who Want More Financial Security

Currently, expectations of “the modern woman” require women to wear many hats: the doting wife, the nurturing mother, the selfless caregiver, and the hardworking career woman. This “women-can-have-it-all” attitude means that women are not only expected to maintain a household and meet household responsibilities but also to pursue a successful professional life simultaneously. 

While it’s true that there’s nothing a woman cannot do by herself, a large majority of women seem to be neglecting a crucial part of their lives – their personal finances. Whether it’s because they struggle to find the time to focus on finances or they feel more comfortable leaving the big money decisions to the men in their lives, women are not engaging themselves enough in the financial matters that directly affect them. This is especially true for married women, who are more likely to hand over financial control to their husbands rather than continue to play an active role in managing their money. 

As society continues to change and social norms and gender roles continue to be challenged, we urge the women reading this to take back control of their money and gain financial security for themselves. These six money moves can help.

Initial Financial Steps for Women Facing Divorce

Six Ways to Begin Protecting Your Finances When Divorce is on the Horizon
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Initial Financial Steps for Women Facing Divorce

If you are approaching divorce, you know that you are on the cusp of confronting significant change in many aspects of your life. This is true whether you have been blindsided by your spouse or whether you’ve initiated the proceedings yourself. Either way – and any way in between – you’ll have to navigate a process that involves a tremendous amount of disruption and upheaval in your life. And while it may be the emotional toll that you begin to experience first, divorce has many financial consequences that will require your immediate attention.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about divorce and finances, start with the six steps below to get your money matters in order as you prepare for divorce.

Developing Your Strategic Giving Plan

Five Steps to Ensure Your Philanthropy Matches Your Values
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Developing Your Strategic Giving Plan

If charitable giving is important to you, you already know it has the power to change lives. With so many organizations and causes in need, however, it can be tricky to make giving choices. In order to help you fund charities that are right for your priorities, your values, and your budget, I recommend creating a strategic giving plan.

Are the 'Fourteen Financial Fears' Holding You Back?

Tips for Building Confidence and Getting Proactive with Your Money
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Are the 'Fourteen Financial Fears' Holding You Back?

In my work, I frequently speak with clients who harbor fears about money. If you relate negative emotions like fear, stress, and anxiety to financial topics, it can be difficult to become interested in your finances or to build confidence in your money skills and knowledge. What’s more, when your emotions are stirred up, it becomes all the more challenging to get outside of your own head and move forward toward your financial goals with clarity.

Fear regarding money topics is particularly problematic for women, with one-third admitting that money causes them stress and anxiety. Whether you are male or female, however, the result is the same – financial fears hold you back. If you want to dispel your negative emotions around money, use the guidance below.

Facing Financial Reality: Important Money Topics for Couples

These Five Conversations Can Strengthen Your Relationship and Your Finances
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 15 March 2021

Facing Financial Reality: Important Money Topics for Couples

When you’re sharing your life with someone else, communication and compromise are paramount to the health of your relationship. While this can apply to many topics, it is certainly true when it comes to financial matters – especially since money disagreements are a leading cause of divorce in the United States.

Financial discussions can feel awkward, and many couples practice avoidance. However, facing financial reality together is an important step in achieving your individual and joint financial and life goals. Below, we’ll discuss five money conversations all couples should have.

Do You Know Your Partner's Money Story?

Here’s How to Add More Understanding and Compassion to Your Financial Conversations
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Do You Know Your Partner's Money Story?

Relationships, by their very nature, can be complex. So, too, can financial matters. When you put the two together, it can make for some challenging money conversations with your spouse or partner! However, even if you are 100 percent in tune with your own money values and goals, sharing your life with someone else means it’s important that you understand their approach to finances, too. Specifically, it’s important to know your partner’s money story.

Navigating Career Transitions

Tips for Moving Forward After Four Common Types of Career Changes
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Friday, 15 January 2021

Navigating Career Transitions

Life transitions often throw us for a loop, and this certainly includes career transitions. Sometimes they are planned, but many times they are unexpected and challenging. However, they’re easier to plan for when we examine how they might occur. Career changes usually happen because someone decides to change their career path, has a job loss, scales back working hours, or experiences a disability. (For a discussion about the career transition of retirement, check out Chapter 6 of my book, Flourish Financially.)

Below we’ll discuss four common career transitions, as well as tactics to navigate them successfully.

Using Pop Culture and Technology to Teach Your Kids Money Lessons

Examples of How to Weave Financial Lessons into Everyday Life
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 21 December 2020

Using Pop Culture and Technology to Teach Your Kids Money Lessons

As parents, we have a great responsibility to teach our kids money lessons to influence how they will spend, save, and invest later in life. This means it is critical to talk to them early and often about how we want them to value money. It also means that we have a unique opportunity to model healthy behaviors for them at all stages of development. This requires a willingness to talk about money, as well as using our own actions to demonstrate how to manage it.

Fortunately, every day brings helpful learning opportunities for us to introduce and explain financial concepts to our kids. This means there are dozens of ways to start the conversation, including around pop culture. In fact, pop culture is a phenomenal resource for teaching our kids money lessons. Below I’ll relay three examples from my own family to help you begin thinking about opportunities for financial conversations in daily life with your kids, too.

Financial Tips for Blended Families

How to Plan Ahead to Tackle the Special Challenges Your Family May Face
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 23 November 2020

Financial Tips for Blended Families

The following article is based on the content covered in my book, Flourish Financially: Values, Transitions, and Big Conversations. If you’d like to read more, you may purchase a copy here.

Life can be beautifully complicated sometimes. That’s certainly true for people with blended families, like mine. My husband and I adopted two children from Guatemala after we were married, and we also have a daughter from my first marriage. Fifty years ago, a familial structure like ours would have been atypical, but blended families are quite common today.

You’ll face a variety of challenges if you’re entering a second marriage with children from a previous relationship. When it comes to the financial implications, you’ll need to plan thoughtfully for this transition. Use the three questions below to help navigate your blended family’s finances and facilitate important conversations that help you avoid common frustrations and misunderstandings.

Money Talks with Your Aging Parents

Your Guide for Having Difficult Planning Discussions with Your Parents and Siblings
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 19 October 2020

Money Talks with Your Aging Parents

The following article is based on the content covered in my book, Flourish Financially: Values, Transitions, and Big Conversations. If you’d like to read more, you may purchase a copy here.

Family discussions regarding money are never easy, yet they are paramount to ensuring that a family’s wealth is protected before a transfer takes place. This is certainly true of money conversations with your aging parents, yet many of us wait until there is a crisis to talk about finances with our mothers and fathers. This is problematic because, in most families, the kids struggle to sort through and manage their finances when a parent becomes ill – especially if the illness is sudden.

Might the conversations be awkward? Might it feel like you are prying into their personal business? Is it emotionally taxing to consider the illness or death of your parents? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, but not having these conversations puts you and your family at financial risk.

Expect the Unexpected: Marriage, Divorce and Your Finances

Life Transitions Bring Many Financial Complexities
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Wednesday, 07 October 2020

Expect the Unexpected: Marriage, Divorce and Your Finances

The following article is based on the content covered in my book, Flourish Financially: Values, Transitions, and Big Conversations. If you’d like to read more, you may purchase a copy here.

Transitions: Life is full of them, isn’t it? Some are the happy kind, like a new marriage, while others are the incredibly challenging and emotional kind, like divorce. What do they have in common? Oftentimes, though you may think you know exactly what you’re getting into, life throws you curveballs.

Much of the time, these life transitions are the result of deliberate decisions, but they can also be entirely unexpected. I’ve been through a few of these myself and I’ve also made efforts to help many clients through them over the years. Below, I provide a helpful perspective for anyone who may be navigating through the life transitions of marriage or divorce right now.

College Savings 101

Paying your child's tuition can seem like a daunting task, but deliberate planning can make it possible.
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 21 September 2020

College Savings 101

College expenses always seem to be on the rise, so tackling college savings can feel like a herculean task at times. Accumulated College Board data for the 2019-2020 academic year showed an average cost of $21,950 as an in-state student at a state school, and a massive $49,870 for a private school. A bit of math easily reveals that four years at any college or university will cost a pretty penny, especially if your children aren’t close to college age just yet. In fact, tuition is likely to continue rising at a rate of about 8 percent each year, and assuming cost trends continue, parents and prospective students will face steep tuition bills in the future.

While not all parents are able to or want to pay for their child’s entire college education, many feel it’s important to contribute at least partially if they can. With rather alarming annual increases in costs, however, parents who wish to help put their children through college need to start planning and saving now. As with any large financial burden, the more time you spend saving, the lower the financial burden is at any given time.

Women Entrepreneurs: How to Sustain Your Balancing Act

Female Business Owners Can Find Success by Focusing Their Attention on Key Areas
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 24 August 2020

Women Entrepreneurs: How to Sustain Your Balancing Act

Being a female entrepreneur is rife with challenges. We still live in a world where women business owners are defying social expectations, struggling to be taken seriously, and confronting the difficult balance between business life and a personal life. It’s no wonder so many female entrepreneurs feel like they’re constantly hustling and still not reaching their goals while confronting the challenge to access funding as a woman-owned business, building a professional network, and overcoming the fear of failure.

If you love what you do – and you’re good at it – but you feel overwhelmed with all that’s required of you, you’re not alone. Read on for three tips designed to help you achieve more balance while creating success in your business.

Lifestyle and Retirement: Lifestyle Impact on Your Finances

Understand the Lifestyle Factors that Could Impact Your Financial Future
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Monday, 10 August 2020

Lifestyle and Retirement: Lifestyle Impact on Your Finances

Is your retirement planning focused solely on dollars and cents? If so, it’s time to broaden your view.

While things like target savings goals and 401(k) balances are crucial to creating a comfortable retirement for yourself, there are some important pre-retirement considerations that have nothing to do with money at all – namely: how and where you’ll spend your new-found leisure time, and who you’ll spend it with. Not only are these important considerations for your lifestyle in retirement, where you will spend your retirement and with whom might impact your finances.

If you want to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling retirement, take the time to consider these four lifestyle factors while also understanding their potential financial impact:

  • Are you and your spouse/partner retiring at the same time?

Many couples retire at different times, either due to necessity or based on personal choice. When this happens, it’s important to plan ahead for the very real shifts that will take place in your everyday life. That’s why it’s so important to communicate with your partner and ensure you’re both on the same page. Talk about the expectations you both have for what your days will be like when the first person retires. Work out things like household chore responsibilities together and commit to navigating your “new normal” as a team. While the retiring spouse may be feeling excited at the prospect of starting a new chapter, it’s important to realize that the spouse who is still working will not be starting that particular chapter yet. Your shared life is important, but this is also a time in life to consider your individual goals and dreams. Open communication and advanced planning can help to smooth this transition.

How to Raise Non-Materialistic Children

Five Ways to Take the Lead in How Your Kids View Material Things
By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA®
Tuesday, 21 July 2020

How to Raise Non-Materialistic Children

It is human nature for all of us to feel the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ from time to time, children included. As more and more kids get smartphones and their popular gaming platforms grow ever more sophisticated, their brains are being primed to want the things their peers have. These feelings can be complex, especially as a new school year is beginning, and things like new clothing, electronics and accessories are on the minds of many kids. As parents, it’s up to us to help our children mitigate these complicated feelings and avoid falling head-first into materialism.

Child psychologists and parenting experts have studied the issue of materialism in children for several decades. Below we will discuss five findings to help parents lead their children toward a non-materialistic mindset.

Tip #1: Have Frequent Money Discussions

Our children learn quite a bit at school, but money management isn’t often included. Since education systems in the United States don't require financial education, our children learn their spending habits from – you guessed it – us. If we want our children to understand the value of money, we need to talk openly about it and do so often. This includes the classic “money doesn’t grow on trees” narrative, which the Child Development Institute says will help kids learn how quickly money can disappear. In turn, this leads to establishing responsible spending habits into adulthood.


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