These day, if you want to get to the top of your career, hard work will not do; you need to plan well and strategize. For busy young women professionals or those who do not know much about financial management and planning, hiring a financial advisor or representative might seem like a good option.

However, some financial advice may not turn out the same way to women of different demographics. It is for this reason that research is done on this exactly, and Fidelity, who provides employer-based retirement accounts, took part in this project by liberating financial advice from the traditional ones tailored to fit everyone to more specific advice, this time depending on each woman client’s demographic.

According to the consulting firm’s representative, a significant number of companies and organizations offering financial advisor and planning services are beginning to see that financial advice is not “one-size-fits-all”; the number continues to grow up steadily as well. They have started changing the format of the planning and information they provide to their clients based on several factors — for example, women’s nationality, income groups, career direction, and amount of credit/debt.

The challenges women face

The customized way of advising and planning also takes into consideration the challenges faced not by men but by women alone.

This includes the tendency of lower income (even for the same job), more leaves and vacation periods (due to events and responsibilities like pregnancy and taking care of children), and the fact that women tend to live longer than men. Hence, they also have shorter time to save and prepare for their future retirement.

britaniaShould We Give Customize Financial Advice for Women?

Are women behind financially?

While revising the ways financial advisors cater to their clients is a massive improvement, this is not to say that women are way behind than men in today’s markets. They are far from being dominant, but from where they were a couple of centuries ago, progress has made the future brighter for young women professionals of today. Women are finally given the chances and opportunities to chase after their aspirations in life, something our women ancestors from decades ago were deprived of.

However, we also cannot deny that ghosts of patriarchy and male dominance of the past remain today, and it is reflected by how the wage gap remains to be a problem today. It is for this reason that Fidelity is giving some special treatment to women in their financial advice and plans.

Considering the challenges that are faced by women alone, there is a great need to adjust their financial and retirement plans accordingly. They need to make up for the extra funds they did not earn due to the wage gap, the income they did not get because of pregnancy leaves, and the additional years they have to live off after they retire.

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Financial and retirement plans specifically for women

It is for this reason that women are the primary target clients of financial institutions such as Fidelity. The numbers and data would show that there is a greater need for women to have access to financial and retirement plans. It is not anymore surprising that women who do not have such end up financially unprepared for retirement.

A perspective from the opposition

While the likes of Fidelity may think that this new approach is the key to more successful financial management and planning for women, it is to be expected that there will be some financial companies who would be uncomfortable with the idea of customizing their financial services according to factors like sex/gender and race.

Such reactions of uncertainty are backed up by reasonable appeals as well. We have to take into consideration that this tactic of customizing services based on demographics may sometimes come off or even encourage discrimination.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).