8 expenses every woman should plan for

Has your male financial planner failed you? Recent studies show that women’s investment portfolios perform better than men’s. And crucially, women understand the unique financial problems of other women.

Here are eight financial situations you should plan for that your male investment advisor probably never told you about.

Healthcare: General health insurance policies may not cover cancers, disability and travel accidents. These are often add-ons that can double your health insurance costs. Co-payments are seldom included on budgets, although they are part of your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

Women need to plan for preventive care that include regular pap smears and cancer screenings among others. You will want to ensure you have coverage for any cancers for which you have a higher hereditary risk. Yoga and meditation classes, or related activities, should also be considered important preventive health measures.

Mom’s college education: South Korean parents are famous for how much they spend on their children’s education and are known to make huge financial sacrifices.

However, mothers too are now taking advantage of generous scholarships and returning to school themselves. Mothers now make up one of the fastest growing segments of adult learners.

Many Asian countries are following the lead of South Korea and Hong Kong and providing more financial assistance and study options for adult students, who now can obtain up to 100% financing for distance learning while continuing to work.

In the US, educators expect more than 40% of students on college campuses to be over 25 years old in 2020.

Daughter’s college education: More Asian daughters are taking the college track. Singapore Tiger mom and hairdresser Carmen Kok told Bloomberg that she will spend three times her annual salary on her daughter’s college education expenses. The higher wages earned by college degree holders is a major incentive.

Divorce or separation: Most women plan for their financial future based on their domestic partner’s financial outlook and retirement savings. However, should they separate from their spouses, they are left with a paltry retirement savings account.

Prenuptial agreements should address pension rights after divorce. The pension is often the largest asset in the settlement. Ensure retirement savings are in both names and research how matrimonial assets are divided in your country.

Green transportation: Drivers are paying more for green transportation – from hybrid electric cars to Beijing’s odd-even license plate car ban, which requires Beijingers to carpool or take public transport every other day.

Car ride-sharing can cut your car bills, although you may find yourself taking taxis more often. With car insurance, car maintenance and petrol, your car expenses should not exceed one-third of your annual income.

Home renovation: Home renovation and design are the two services for which consumers are most often swindled as being billed far beyond the initial quote is a common experience. Getting a quote in writing is the first step to protecting yourself. Use designers and builders who have been recommended by people in your community and thus need to protect their local reputation.

Getting pregnant: Dr Priscilla Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg publicly talked about their three miscarriages – an experience many couples suffer in silence. More women are resorting to artificial insemination, relaxation therapies, acupuncture and other therapies to conceive. In many cases, stressful lifestyles are making it harder for women to get pregnant.

More and more women are pursuing expensive artificial insemination treatments and may have several before they are successful. Successful implantation rates are less than 40% for women under 35 (Wikipedia), and treatment typically involves high artificial insemination costs.

Business start-up expenses: More mothers are starting up businesses during pregnancy leave, requiring that they stash away more emergency funds in the case of growing pains or start-up failures.

Start-up costs may include business registration fees and outfitting your home office. Marketing costs are typically the largest expense. Always budget with a woman’s expenses in mind. This will allow you to spot potential shortfalls such as spousal pension rights and take early precautions to reduce financial risk.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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