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What all women should know about being financially prepared

By Nicole Brown-Griffin

Even though the book’s title is Single Women and Money: How to Live Well on Your Income, its information is vital to all women—married or single. At any moment, a married woman’s life could be turned upside down by divorce or becoming a widow. Every woman needs to know how to earn, save, invest, and protect her finances; unfortunately, far too often this is not the case.

As a financial planner who primarily helps women going through life's transitions, I found Single Women and Money by Margaret Price and Jill Gianola informative. This book would be beneficial to financial planners, women of all ages, and, frankly, anyone! It’s thorough, providing suggestions and solutions for women who have never married, but also for divorcees and widows. Nicely laid out, the book takes readers on an educational journey by explaining issues that need to be addressed to get women’s financial houses in order.

Some of the strongest sections are real-life stories of women experiencing different financial hardships and overcoming life’s obstacles; these illustrations provide relief and hope for women experiencing similar trials and tribulations. Single Women and Money explains how financial hardships for women were created in our country, and it also provides history on programs designed to help. The historical references are interesting because they bring awareness about how long the journey has been, and still continues to be, to level the financial playing field in our country.

The book also includes tips for women employees and business owners, as well as lists of key issues that women in different stages of life need to consider, which is invaluable intel.

The authors, NAPFA member Jill Gianola and Margaret Price, include an entire chapter on resources available to help women improve their lives, in addition to sprinkling resources throughout the book. They name organizations and programs that I wasn’t even aware of and that I will use and provide to my clients or women I come across in the future.

The last chapter, “How Society Can—and Should—Help,” outlines what everyone can do to fix problems that women did not create. Some of the major problems include the gender wage gap, gender and racial discrimination, social norms, not valuing women in the workforce, and financially penalizing women who are mothers and family caregivers. As a mother expecting my second child, I found their solutions hit right on the mark. The authors discuss solutions such as how parents and schools can lay the groundwork by providing financial education, instilling confidence, and encouraging girls (and boys) to seek career options with promising financial futures. At the workplace, employers can correct “unfair pay and barriers to promotions to outright sexual harassment” and adopt employment policies such as “publishing salary ranges of each job, prohibiting use of job candidates’ salary history as a guide to hiring and wage determination and banning punishment of workers who discuss their wages with colleagues.”

Also, the authors call for legislation at the state and federal level. They note with dismay that in April 2021, the Paycheck Fairness Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but two months later failed in the Senate. And they call for improvements to family care, which include more affordable, available, quality care for children and better pay and training for childcare workers.

Single Women and Money: How to Live Well on Your Income is published by Rowman & Littlefield at a list price of $32. It is also available as an e-book.

Nicole Brown-Griffin is founder and principal of Late Bloom Advising and Late Bloom Divorce. Nicole is a virtual, fee-only financial planner who provides divorce financial analysis, investment management, and tax preparation services. Nicole is an AFC®, CFP®, CDFA®, and EA.