Women Investors: Overcoming Obstacles

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p>AMA graphicOnce women couldn’t even own property. All assets were held by a husband or male relative.  All that’s changed in our modern Western society, but women still face higher rates of poverty in retirement and receive lower payouts from pensions and Social Security.  Women are missing out on opportunities to create income through investing, too – but that’s changing as financial experts and lenders begin to recognize the challenges facing women as new investors.

Investing has long been a man’s world.  But with the increasing awareness that women generally live longer than men and take charge not only of their own finances but also those of their families, investment support and information targeted specifically to women is becoming more widespread.  That’s due largely to recognition that women’s financial profiles are frequently very different from those of their male peers.

Women nearing retirement age can generally expect smaller pensions and Social Security payouts than men.  One reason for this is an interrupted work history, with pauses for child-rearing or care giving.  Another is job instability. Although less common today, women of generations past who worked often had a pattern of job-hopping – following a husband’s career moves and taking fill-in work wherever the family lived.  Some may never have worked at all, relying on the man of the house to handle finances.

Women of younger generations face barriers to investing, too.  A Generation X or Y just starting a career may be fairly low on the pay scale while carrying massive student loan debt.  And general instability in the nation’s employment picture can mean she’ll end up laid off or downsized.  For those in between, these issues plus time off for childbirth and other family issues can mean a spotty financial history with no resources available for investing.

With these issues in mind, real estate is emerging as one of the most viable investment opportunities for women – and a range of support and educational resources aimed at women investors are springing up to help them get started.  Mortgage lenders may have special support for women borrowers, with programs aimed at supporting women and minorities starting businesses or launching investments that

support communities, such as renovating low-cost foreclosures in depressed areas.

Investing in property creates an income stream that can accommodate the twists and turns of women’s working lives, with income that continues while a worker takes time to care for an aging parent or stay at home for a child’s first year of life. Property investments can also provide a safe haven in case of a spouse’s death or other financial crisis.

We've come a long way from the days when a male guardian handled a woman's finances.  Now, with greater understanding of their unique issues and more support for new investors, more women are taking Jason Hartman’s advice to create an income stream for retirement – or any age – through investing in income property.

AMA logoThe American Monetary Association Team

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