Professional women, particularly those who also happen to be single mothers, have plenty of financial tools at their disposal for protecting wealth. And whether they live alone, with a partner, or with one or more children, today’s working women juggle dozens of tasks while keeping an eye on career advancement, family life, and their health. How do working moms make sure to not only maximize their earning power but to hold on to the money they make? Unfortunately, there are just too many ways for monetary assets to evaporate, including, but not limited to, theft, lawsuits, poor investments, and long-term unemployment.
The good news is that there are ways to protect against the loss of wealth on a large or small scale. In addition to using retirement accounts to shield money from legal actions of various kinds, professional women need to stay current on filial responsibility laws, think about setting up trusts, consider acquiring precious metals for portfolio diversification, leveraging the power of life insurance, and investing in education for career enhancement. Some of the best feminist books of all time are full of women who have plenty of money smarts and find financial freedom as a result. Here’s more about each technique women can use to shield their assets in today’s volatile, unstable economy.
Maintaining Retirement Accounts
Maximizing the amount of money you can legally contribute to retirement accounts is one of the most effective ways of protecting money from legal actions, liens, and other wealth-depleting maneuvers. Plus, setting up a retirement account through a bank or credit union is as simple as filling out a one-page form and making an initial deposit.
Knowing About Filial Responsibility Laws
Many states still have filial responsibility laws on their books. It’s essential for every woman to understand how these outdated, and often unenforced laws can pose a financial threat. For the most part, the laws pertain to the duty the adult child has for parents, and sometimes for other family members. Keep in mind that in states where these outmoded regulations still exist, the rules are not about taking care of elderly parents but impoverished ones, regardless of age. And while many states rarely enforce the laws, professional women are sometimes hit with lawsuits from state and federal health care agencies for reimbursement of medical expenses for impoverished parents.
Often, state agencies go after women, and men, who have had no contact with the impoverished parents for decades. What’s the solution? First, find out whether your state has such legislation in force. Next, if you have financially needy parents who live in the state, find out what your precise obligation would be should they require care from a state agency. The first step is to review a guide about what the filial responsibility laws are, how they work, which states have them, and which ones enforce them. It’s always wise to have the facts on your side before proceeding on to additional strategies.
Setting Up Trusts
If you want a high degree of protection against creditors and various kinds of legal action, setting up a trust can be an ideal solution. For starters, trusts let you decide right now how your assets will be doled out after your death. Heirs won’t have to worry about going through court, waiting for months to receive their inheritance, or endure the costly, lengthy, and very public process of probate. You have the added luxury of keeping gift and estate taxes very low and placing any conditions on the timing and number of payouts to particular individuals and organizations.
Diversifying With Precious Metals
Stock-heavy portfolios can do very well when the market is trending upward. The downside is that you can lose a lot during economic slumps. That’s why many working women and single mothers make sure that a small portion of their portfolio is held in precious metals like gold or silver. Historically, the precious metals tend to serve as a counterbalance against the general trend of the securities markets. Speak with a licensed financial planner about how much of your portfolio should be allocated to gold and silver.
Carry Enough Life Insurance
For single mothers and professional females, life insurance often gets left off the list of financial priorities. Traditionally, families with two young parents and several children were the most active buyers of life insurance. In today’s new social structure, where families are headed by single women, life insurance is even more important. Consider shopping for policies that offer the right amount of financial security for children should you die before they reach adulthood. Likewise, think about whether term or whole life coverage would be best for your situation and budget.