Category Archives: women financial advisors

Women and Money, Time for Women to Teach Each Other

Working on the laptop and doing some website changes.  Kind of listening to the TV in the other room.  Realized the morning show out of Austin (Texas) had a speaker explaining how the role of women in personal finance has changed.  Started actively listening to statistics about how women own homes, are Chief Financial Officers (CFO) of their lives and the lives of their families, and how we care for our families and often other generations of friends and family members.  Basically the conversation hit all the topics we as women already know because we live it.

Then I really paid attention and realized the speaker was– a man.   So I walked to the TV to see the male speaker telling the woman talk host all this information.  The visual reminded me that about 70% of the people in the financial advisory and investment communities in the U.S. are men, even though there are more women than men in the  overall population.

Oh HAPPY DAY when we see as many women financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, and teachers of financial literacy in our neighborhoods as we see Starbucks or Walgreens.

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that men remain our biggest resource for financial “stuff”?  We can change that!

This isn’t about men versus women.  It is about choices.  Some women prefer to learn from men.  Others prefer to learn from women.  With such under-representation of women in the advisory and investment communities, we as women need to teach each other the basics to balance out the equation.  This gives us a choice in who is teaching us, and benefiting from it.

Thanks for reading my posts and being interested enough in your financial future to learn the fundamentals.  Please help by sharing  your knowledge so the next “experts” on the morning shows are women.  It could be you.  Start in your living room with a few friends.  Buy my book to start, or find other resources which speak to you.  It’s easier than you think.

 

 

 

 

 

My Monkey Mind-Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)

monkeys

My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

Something which happened about 10 years ago has been in my monkey mind.  I guess listening to my friends talk about elderly parents must have triggered it.  So here goes….

As part of my financial services business I had a listing in the Yellow Pages under resources for women.  It was the best I could do since there wasn’t a separate listing for women and finances.  The result was unexpected.  I received random calls from women in difficult life situations ranging from physical abuse, unwanted divorce, requests for money to start  businesses, and sometimes just a reality check on some financial decisions a spouse or significant other had made without checking with the woman.  After these calls continued , I became a connection between these women I never met to non-profits, social services providers, free legal advice, and government agencies who could help.  I learned a bunch of things which reached beyond financial advising.

One day I received one of those calls from an elderly woman who asked me what the difference was between term insurance (no cash value) and universal life insurance (which has a cash value).  The real reason for the call had to do with the fact that her late husband had established an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) with a cash value policy and she thought he had made a bad decision.  I was curious to hear all the details so I went to visit with her.

In my Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, I cover the differences between term and cash value policies.  To put it in a couple of sentences, term insurance is a very cost-effective way of getting life insurance and is appropriate for most people.  The premium goes towards the insurance cost and the policy runs for a certain period of time, such as 10, 15, or 20 years.  A policy with a cash value, such as universal life or variable universal life is more complicated and more expensive.  Some of the premium goes to the cost of insurance and some goes into investments offered through the insurance product.  The policy is considered to be “permanent” life since it is not restricted to a certain length of time.  My experience is that these policies (UL and VUL) are often considered upon guidance from an estate planning attorney when creating ways to provide for beneficiaries and reduce estate taxes.  This is a very generalized overview and to learn more please ask your insurance agent or do your own research on-line.

The control of the ILIT rests with a trustee, not the beneficiary (in this case the lady who called me).  This is done because of the estate tax benefits.  You can learn more by clicking here.  As with most people, she did not like knowing she had “all this money”, yet couldn’t access it when she wished.  I came to learn that was part of the plan.

I shared this insight with the lady. Apparently I was the first person she met who sat down and explained to her how this ILIT all worked. I was also the only woman advisor/insurance agent she had ever met.  She found me through my Yellow Page listing.

I learned that she was unhappy because the ILIT controlled her spending.  She had to ask a young man( who was the trustee) for any money which was needed  in addition to the monthly payment which had been established.  The goal of the plan was to keep her from running out of money.   I learned that her ILIT  did contain a universal life policy, the trust was created by an attorney with involvement by the now-deceased husband, and seemed to be in good order and in her best interest.  The things the trustee had told her were true, if she did not control her spending, she ran the risk of outliving her money.  In this situation, the planning was really in her best interest and when we finished our discussion, she, for the first time, realized it.  We talked about other ways for her to finance the expenses she wanted to incur including having a roommate in her spacious home, moving to a smaller one, or cutting expenses elsewhere.

I never heard from her again, but I learned a lot.  I saw how the appropriate cash value life insurance policy can be an integral and useful part of estate planning and a way to take care of beneficiaries upon the death of the insured.  My passion for working with women to understand their finances was re-kindled.  I knew that if someone had taken time to speak to this lady in language she could understand, her life would have been much better.  Sometimes financial professionals forget that it is not all about the numbers,  it is about how the numbers improve the lives of clients and getting the  clients to understand that.  It also reinforced my belief that the best time to learn about finances is not when your spouse or family member has died and not there to explain things.  Learning the fundamentals as a young person will make things a lot easier throughout her or his lifetime.

This event has stayed with me.  My insurance career involved term life insurance and that worked well for my family and clients. The ILIT was a good example how a cash value policy can be beneficial in estate planning and for beneficiaries who may need some additional structure and measured control over assets.  Each situation is different and this posting is not intended to provide you with personal advice on your estate planning, financial planning, or insurance needs.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Why Blog about the Financial Freedom Party for Women?

Knowing that many of you have joined my blog after earlier posts were created, I am going to do some re-blogging.  I ask you considering sharing these with the women in your life.  It is important that those of us who understand financial management share what we have learned with others.  During my financial advisory career I heard often from women who said “nobody ever taught me this”.  That is one of the reasons I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women.  Now is the time to teach our friends, children, and grandchildren.  If we don’t do it, who will? 

My book, Financial Freedom for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, is now available at amazon.com.  Just click here.  Now you can just add a copy of the book to your Amazon orders!!! 

So, starting from the beginning we have some background into why I blog.  Just click here.

http://ffptalk.com/2010/05/14/why-blog-about-financial-freedom-party-for-women/

More to come and thanks for reading and sharing.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Culture of Threes – #1

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My last posting was about our culture of threes. I describe how when something comes into my life and consciousness for three times over a short period of time, I pay attention and act.  The next three posts are a culture of threes story.

1

Recently I submitted my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, to Amazon.com.  This will make it available to the general reading public.  It also has put the book back into my daily thoughts as I often wonder if the financial services industry is ready to change and accommodate a new  easy and fun way of teaching women about money and marketing to us.  So this represents my most recent  confirmation about the value of parties as a way to connect with women, share meaningful and life-changing information, and starting a personal connection. I count this as Number 1.

Recognizing the value of learning about party plans which are used by direct selling companies was a natural evolution for me.  My entrance into becoming an insurance agent and registered representative was through a direct selling and network marketing company. Some of my friends were very successful in direct selling and network marketing and I listened and learned from them. This opened my mind to looking at more meaningful ways of marketing and selling complex products such as investments  insurance, and financial analysis/planning.

I hadn’t grown up professionally in the brokerage and insurance industry.  This meant I  wasn’t saddled with industry paradigms and allowed me to seek out a way to really meet the needs of the women I was encountering.  Having women clients was my main goal, but I believed they should be part of the process and have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of financial management so they could be more comfortable with their decisions.

This turned out to be a more difficult goal than expected.  There are some real barriers to getting women interested in learning about financial management.  Now there are always what I call the “MBA” women or those who are passionate about financial management, but there are many women who don’t meet that description.  Women tell me that the information can be difficult to grasp at first and the presentations are pretty old school and boring.  If a woman can go do something more interesting with her family or friends, why should she show up to a boring presentation?   Think about it, going to a girl’s night out, watching sports with the family, shopping with friends, taking a walk, or just staying home and watching a DVD are way more attractive and acceptable options.  As explained in my book:

The Financial Freedom Party (FFP) was created when I found many other women brokers, like myself, were frustrated when women wouldn’t show up at financial seminars. Only 3-4 women would attend, even though we mailed invitations with plenty of lead time, followed up, and targeted our efforts to women who needed this information, and who were not already working with a financial services professional.

One evening I attended a Pampered ChefTM party hosted by my next-door neighbor. She had made a last minute decision to have the party, and gave her guests about two-day notice. Nonetheless, when I arrived at her home, there were thirty or more women in attendance, and at the end of the presentation they were all buying — and buying “lots.”  It became clear to me that we needed to change our approach in the financial services industry. From this experience and with the help from three other women brokers, the Financial Freedom Party concept began and the format was developed.

This seemed pretty logical to our team and it worked.  However, as I reached out to professionals in the investment community to share the concept and expand its use, the reaction was rather unexpected.  Some people simply couldn’t see how it would work (even after I explained it).  Some were amused.  Then there were those who asked me, “Oh, like Tupperware Parties?”  At least this gave me an opportunity to explain that it is founded on the same concept but no product is sold at the party.  So, the  Financial Freedom Party for Women is an adaptation on party plans based on sharing information and building relationships.  I found again, that some comments  were little more than subdued snickering and amusement,  However, there were some men and women  who grasped the concept, could see the potential, were genuinely impressed, and encouraging.  Overall, the people I spoke with really didn’t see a need for change. Obviously the timing wasn’t right.  So I spent time doing Financial Freedom Parties and building my business, hoping for a more positive reception at a later time.

Business leaders tend to “get it” when products or services are sold and delivered with the result being money cash flowing into the business.  Success is an attention getter.

Recently two more references to Tupperware and party plan businesses came to me from two unexpected sources.  Both reflect success for women and money for the business.  They confirmed my experience that marketing to women (and with women) is often different, but highly profitable.  More to come next time about the second reminder I received about how women and party plans connect for both the consumer and the business.

Until next time.

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Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Begin with the End in Mind–End of Life Stuff

I am on a short break from blogging about women and money so I can complete a booklet about creating a concierge service for seniors.  The end is in sight!

Fortunately I have friends and business associates who send me tips about topics which are of interest to all of us. 

One friend is a young woman who is an attorney.  She actually likes legal stuff but knows most people don’t.  She told me to check out the site http://getyourshittogether.org/ . I did just as she told me and found it is a great site to reinforce the need to begin with the end in mind and get your stuff together.

Please take to time to read about the creator’s personal story and to use the information there to push you into action.

Personally I know it is a drag to do all the paperwork and planning.  I just finished putting together a new packet of info with updated wills,  banking information, insurance information and other stuff to give to our adult son …just in case.  As a young person and teenager  I always told him where our important documents were stored in the house.  He used to ask me why he couldn’t have a mom like the ones other kids had.  I told him most moms weren’t financial advisors and hadn’t seen what I had.  As an adult he now gets why all this stuff is important.

Until next time

 

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

 

I Am Celebrating!

Recently I read about a study which tells the story of under-representation of women as financial advisors, and describes the lower level of earnings of women advisors as opposed to that of men.

Clearly I am not celebrating those statistics.  I am, however, so very excited and grateful to see that someone has actually studied the situation and brought it out for all to see.  As part of the development of The Financial Freedom Party for Women, I searched high and low for any type of information about the brokerage and financial advisory industries and the level of representation by women.  Not a successful search at the time.

So, to learn more, please click here to read my article titled “I AM CELEBRATING!”

It is always nice to understand the industries we rely upon to either to provide us with services, or as employers and business partners. I hope you will learn a little about the financial services industry from my article.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

logownedy (2)

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com