News & Insights
Financial Planning For High-Net-Worth Women With Stay-At-Home Husbands
Financial Advisor Magazine
April 23, 2018
Women are the breadwinners in nearly one-third of all married and co-habitating households, and that number is rapidly expanding, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center. Yorkbridge Wealth Partners, a New York City-based wealth management company, is an example of one firm helping high-net-worth bread-winning women navigate financial planning in one-income households.
“There’s no boys club, and there’s that outdated assumption that it’s not polite for women to talk about money,” says Carrie Gallaway, managing partner at Yorkbridge. Many of her clients are female entrepreneurs, finance executives, entrepreneurs, investment bankers and business owners with—in many cases—stay-at-home husbands who look after the children.
Preparing for retirement is one of the most common areas of anxiety for one-income couples and families, Gallaway notes. While these clients are high-income earners, the majority are worried they will not be able to live at the same level of comfort in retirement. She says one way to reduce the anxiety is to customize a retirement plan that solidifies individual retirement security for the non-income producing partner.
The most crucial aspect of the planning process is communication, Gallaway says. While it is not uncommon for households to have one spouse more involved in the family finances than the other, Gallaway requires both partners to be actively involved in the goal planning and decision making as a way to significantly reduce the likelihood of future conflict over finances.
“We’ve found that over the long term both individuals will have longer financial security if both parties are involved,” Gallaway explains. “The person who is left out may not understand the goals or what the plan is whether it’s a vacation home or even a specific retirement savings goal. The left-out party always has anxiety over these circumstances.”
As such, in-person attendance at annual meetings is required so that both partners can get involved in the major decision making. “We are not therapists, but instead work as a sounding board and hold clients accountable for the financial decisions they make and remind them of their initial plan,” Gallaway says.
Working with affluent women requires an advisor to be extremely flexible in their availability, Gallaway adds. For example, offering non-traditional hours to fit the schedule of clients and making use of virtual meetings and Skype are often necessary.
Gallaway notes that many high-net-worth women share a common concern regarding the work ethic and values of their children. “We work on establishing boundaries for their children instead of simply giving them money,” Gallaway says, adding that she has helped children of her clients get part-time jobs and start earning their own income.
Gallaway believes that female clients value financial advice from someone with a parallel lifestyle, and they want a financial mentor who they can share their fears and concerns with.