On July 7, 2019, the United States women’s national team won the FIFA World Cup by defeating the Netherlands 2-0. I’ll remember this victory for many reasons, especially the amazing team play. Several players had epic performances. Sprinkle in some controversy, too, around goal celebrations, political conflict, and social issues.
Calls for Equal Pay
Now that the tournament is over, one social issue still resonating is the call for “Equal Pay”. The women’s team has battled this issue for a while. But now the non-soccer world is seeing reports of petitions and lawsuits. These suits claim that the women make less than their men counterparts.
A recent Moveon.org petition demands that the US Soccer Federation pay the women the same amount as the men. Some interesting stats from the petition:
- The US women’s soccer team has won four World Cups since the early 1990s while the men have won zero.
- The women US soccer players can earn up to $260,869 for advancing to the World Cup and winning. For the men, they can earn up to $1,114,429 for the same results, according to an analysis from the Guardian.
- The women’s team has generated more revenue than the men. From 2016 and 2018, the women brought in $50.8 million vs. $49.9 million for the men, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For us US soccer fans, the contrast was impossible to ignore. Later the same day of the women’s finals victory, the US men lost to Mexico in the regional Gold Cup.
And of course, there were the loud chants of “Equal Pay!” raining down on the women’s team after the game, and during the victory parade.
More Than Equal Pay
Unfortunately, Equal Pay isn’t the only issue women face with money and investing. In fact, according to a recent study by Financial Finesse, women are also less likely than men to:
- Have an emergency rainy-day fund;
- Take a risk tolerance assessment to determine their risk profile for investing;
- Rebalance their investments to stay aligned with goals and objectives; and
- Feel comfortable with their debt.
But Wait, That’s Not All
And if those issues weren’t enough, there are more financial challenges facing women:
- Women have a longer life expectancy;
- Women generally earn less income over a lifetime. They face more workforce absences due to childcare or family member care; and
- Less income/pay causes lower average monthly Social Security benefits.
A Few Tips
Here are some tips to help address women’s unique financial issues and enhance their financial security:
Cash and Credit
- Stay involved in your family’s daily financial decisions. Be confident in your financial knowledge. Prepare for unfortunate predicaments, such as a divorce or death of your partner.
- Whether single or married, you should establish and maintain credit in your name. Be careful about opening a joint credit card account if your husband has a bad credit history. Keep in mind that credit reports and histories are not combined when you marry.
- Pay your credit card balance in full each month. Also set aside money to handle expenses in the event of a financial emergency or unforeseen job loss.
- Consider taking a risk tolerance assessment. Familiarize yourself with different strategies (i.e. conservative, moderate, or aggressive).
- Make sure that your blend of cash, bonds, and stocks matches your risk tolerance, objectives and time horizon.
- Review and rebalance your investments twice a year to keep your asset allocation aligned with your strategy.
I know that finding time to plan for financial wellness is hard. You may be raising kids, caring for elderly parents, and working to advance your career. And as a woman, you are likely starting from a different place relative to where a man might start.
Making a successful financial plan can be difficult. Find a capable financial advisor who focuses on solving women’s financial challenges. They can help you make sure that you can enjoy your day-to-day life as well as your retirement.