At the tender age of 23, with two years of experience under my belt, I was introduced to a prospect named Deborah. Deborah was a successful, high-powered fashion industry executive in New York City, who made and spent a lot of money. During our first meeting, I was a bit intimidated and asked the first question that came to my mind:
What’s your biggest financial worry?
Deborah smiled and said:
Oh, that’s easy, my biggest fear is becoming the ‘Best Dressed Bag Lady in Manhattan'.
I honestly thought she was goofing on my apparent naïveté, but this high-powered, financially impressive woman was serious. Despite her position, her success, and her income, her biggest fear was a loss of financial independence and potential financial ruin.
It turned out that the message she delivered to me that day was one I would eventually build the bulk of my practice around. Deborah admitted to never having a budget or a consistent savings plan. “I have no discipline,??? she said. We then set our first goal: we would develop a written, detailed budget—which would be the start of her financial plan.
A few weeks later, when Deborah came in for her first budget-setting appointment, she was wearing a new fur coat. Jokingly, I asked her how the future “Best Dressed Bag Lady in Manhattan??? could afford such a purchase. She replied in all seriousness:
I know we’re going to start this budget thing today, so I decided to splurge before getting started.
While confused by her shopping binge, I took her showing up for her first appointment as a real sign of her commitment to change.
Despite being in this business for over 33 years now, with a firm my father started back in 1959, women like Deborah are more common today than ever before, across all income brackets and all professions. Multiple studies have been done on women’s biggest fears when it comes to money and on women’s relationship to financial planning, and believe it or not, Bag Lady Syndrome (BLS) has been identified as women’s number one financial fear.
One USA Today study revealed that over 50 percent of women in the United States fear becoming a “bag lady.??? The number one thing—after losing a spouse—that keeps more than 50 percent of women up at night is the fear of running out of money after retirement.
Today, over 70% of our clientele is female, my entire team except for the 3rd generation of Drucker…(Gideon Drucker) is female. Every new client relationship begins with a discussion of their fears, goals, and life objectives. From there our clients engage in the next step of our process, developing a written comprehensive financial life plan. This plan lays out their cash flow, balance sheet, investment allocation, protection planning, social security planning, risk levels, and includes a Monte Carlo analysis of the likelihood of them accomplishing their goals. They pay a fee for the plan as I need them to have “skin in the game.???
I often think about how Deborah started me on my path. She passed awhile back, but I’d like to think she’d be happy to know how significant an effect her vulnerability and transparency in sharing her financial fears had on my life and as a result our client’s lives.
Today, Drucker Wealth Management focuses and specializes in guiding women through some of their most complex and biggest financial affairs such as retirement, divorce, the launch of a professional career, children or loss of spouse or life partner. For more information visit: www.druckerwealth.com.
Originally published at www.myworthllc.com