Fab After 50: Financial tips from WSECU


by New Day Producers


Posted on October 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 22 at 12:13 PM

Working women over 50 are a growing population. They are strong, capable, and mature enough to know what’s what but still young enough to make some bold changes. Getting in control of your finances at this stage of your life should be a priority. Suzanne Klenk from Washington State Employees Credit Union joined Margaret with financial tips for women who are “Fabulous after Fifty."

For more information about the services provided by Washington State Employees Credit Union, please click here.

To contact Suzanne with a financial question or to schedule a free financial workshop for your business or organization, email her: SKlenk@wsecu.org

Here are the tips Suzanne shared today:

Fifty, Fabulous and getting your Finances to follow!

Finances and money management can be intimidating, but you say the first tip in to not be afraid.

Suzanne:  Do not be intimidated by your money or how to invest it.  This is not rocket science, but it is important.  Educate yourself.  The past few years of market fluctuation have shown us that you cannot delegate your finances and investing to others, without any understanding of how it all works.    Using a Financial Planner is smart, but stay in the game. 

Where do begin to educate yourself about money management and Investing?

Suzanne:  If you read just 30 minutes a day about investing and market trends, you will learn enough to have intelligent conversation with your financial planner about what is best for you.  There is so much free information out there…read, just read!  Also, get in touch with your Credit Union!  Credit Unions have Financial Planners and conduct financial education seminars.  Get in there and use those services, they belong to you!  Know more about your finances than you do about who is the front runner on Dancing with the Stars!

You give some simple guiding principles for your money and investments:

  1. Do nothing in haste.  Suzanne:  Think before you act.  There are plenty of “Too Good To be True” investment deals out there.  Do some research; ask questions until you feel like you understand the answer. Then ask again
  2. Be aware of your time horizon.  Suzanne:  Timing is everything, especially when the timeframe is shorter.  If you will need money in 5 years, so not invest that money in something that will not allow you to pull it out in 5 years without penalty.
  3. Don’t let anyone tell you…”it’s all ok, don’t worry about it”.  Suzanne:  Unfortunately, women are not always treated equally in the world of finance and investments.  Always be an active participant in your life and your finances.  It’s YOUR money!  You are the one who makes the decision and will live with that decisions that are made. 

According to a number of publications, couples in their 50’s are divorcing at a higher rate than ever.  What advice do you have for women facing this reality and that are confused about how to proceed financially?

Suzanne:  This is the unplanned Life.  The one that can derail you if you let it.  A full financial evaluation is first on the list.  How much do I have coming in and going out? What will I need to retire as a single woman?  It’s not only important to ask these questions…you must answer them!  The risk of making emotional financial decisions during this time is high, so again, you need to have a trusted financial advisor that can stick to the numbers and help you do that as well.

Again, Haste is a no-no

Suzanne:  Emotional decisions with regard to money rarely turn out well.  It should all come down to the numbers…today’s value, today’s money so that tomorrow you can make choices that will sustain you for tomorrow’s costs and the life you will continue to live.

What about the fabulous fifty plus women that are looking at changing careers or starting their own business.  What should they be thinking about?

Suzanne:  Retirement plans, 401k and IRA investments and savings.  Make sure you move those funds in a way that will serve you and provide the best tax positioning.  Beginning a new career venture is empowering and exciting at any age!  After fifty, we have fewer years to make up losses…so go after these dreams boldly, with a good financial plan in place.  Work with a Financial Planner that has solid small business investment experience.  Protect what you need to have for retirement from loss and then take what you have to invest in your new venture and step out in confidence.   Remember, WSECU has a strong lending program for small businesses.  Check with your Credit Union to see what they can offer you in the way of support for your dreams!

Does everyone really need a financial planner?

Suzanne: I believe that if you want to get the most out of your savings and investments, you need to get all the information.  Knowledge is power.  Let’s face it; most of us are not money savvy. We need a little help.  Credit Unions have Financial Planners on staff that can help you plot the course, regardless of where you are financially.  I like to think of a financial planner as a guide.  Without a good map and a guide, we can find ourselves moving in circles and lost. 

There is so much to think about isn’t there?

Suzanne:  Yes, but start at the beginning...  Come into your credit union and sit down with a Member Service Consultant.  They can help get you started by putting your savings on Automatic Withdraw and then find ways to get you on the right path.  There are so many service options that can assist you with your journey.  It’s the silver lining!  We can do this!